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President Glassner underscores commitment to varsity athletics

October 14, 2013

Dear Members of the Lewis & Clark Community,

As I do each year, I am writing to underscore Lewis & Clark’s commitment to maintaining a strong varsity athletics program that benefits our students, supports our educational mission, and helps us come together as a community.

Lewis & Clark is proud to be a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III. The mission and values of Division III are congruent with our own: namely, to provide our students with an outstanding educational experience with strong academics and meaningful opportunities beyond the classroom to learn and grow. Participation in varsity athletics is a way students learn to compete, collaborate, and develop qualities of character and leadership that will serve them well throughout their lives.

In contrast to Division I institutions, at which typically only a small fraction of students (on average 4 percent) participate in varsity athletics, Division III schools have high rates of participation in NCAA sports. For example, varsity student-athletes make up 20 percent of our entering undergraduate class this fall.  At Division III schools, student-athletes are students first and are treated like all other members of the student body. At Lewis & Clark, student-athletes major across the disciplines, participate in all facets of student life, and distinguish themselves in many pursuits beyond the courts and fields.

One major way in which Division III schools achieve the integration of athletics and academics is through the appointment of a faculty athletic representative (FAR) at each institution. Lewis & Clark has a long and proud history of naming two FARs, one female and one male, to reflect our abiding commitment to gender equity. I am pleased to announce that this year Associate Professor of Chemistry Anne Bentley has joined Associate Professor of Chinese Keith Dede as one of our two FARs.

The Athletics Advisory Board is a college committee with responsibility for helping us advance the ideals and values of the Division III philosophy. The current membership includes CAS professors Anne Bentley, Keith Dede, and Rob Kugler (chair); law school professor Dan Mensher; Dean for Enrollment and Communications Lisa Meyer; Dean of Students Anna Gonzalez; baseball coach Tom Flynn; Student Athletics Advisory Council members Andrew (Drew) LeDonne and Glenna Andrews; and Board of Trustees member Jay Waldron. Serving ex officio are Provost Jane Atkinson, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Hal Abrams, and Associate Provost for Institutional Research and Planning Mark Figueroa.

This year we are undertaking an important search for a new athletics director. We are very fortunate to have Mark Pietrok, a highly experienced and long-serving member of our Athletics staff, leading the Athletics division during this transitional year. Mark is deeply committed to matching our athletics practice and philosophy to Division III values and ideas.

In closing, I want to thank all of you who support our student-athletes by attending their games. I see game-by-game, match-by-match how much this support means to our students.  Please review the calendar of events on the Athletics webpage for schedules, and make a point of attending some competitions this year.

Best regards,


For more information:

Office of the President