NAIA Honors Gary Lance

2007 Wally Schwartz Award Recipient

According to an NAIA release from Kansas City, The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today Gary Lance of Southern Nazarene University (Okla.) as the recipient of the 2007 Wally Schwartz Award. The award, initiated by the Faculty Athletics Representative Association (FARA), honors past NAIA Vice President of Legislative Services Wally Schwartz and annually recognizes Conference, Regional and National Faculty Athletic Representatives (FAR) of the Year. Award winners exemplify the loyalty, enthusiasm and honesty that Wally Schwartz displayed during and beyond his time at the NAIA.

“The work of faculty athletics representatives and conference eligibility chairs is vital to the success of NAIA students and institutions,” said Israel Negrón, NAIA Director of Legislative Services. “It is gratifying to see Gary Lance’s hard work on behalf of the students at Southern Nazarene and the Sooner Athletic Conference be recognized by his peers.”

Sharing now in the Schwartz legacy is Lance who is a math professor at Southern Nazarene. Lance, in his 39 years at the university, is an established figure on campus and has served as a faculty athletics representative for the Sooner Athletic Conference for the past 18 years. As a FAR, Lance represents the institution in the development of sound educational policies for athletics and is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all participants in intercollegiate competition are eligible in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Association.

Recognized for his vast knowledge and viewed as an advocate for student-athletes, Lance is loyal to the NAIA spirit and enthusiastic about promoting the association. The integrity Lance displays in his approach is admirable as he adheres to the rules by which the organization is governed. His service to the Southern Nazarene University community and its students has expanded through the years to include volunteer work on various NAIA conference and national committees and task forces.

“In any institution where athletics is an important part of campus life and culture, a Gary Lance is indispensable,” said Dr. Loren P. Gresham, President at Southern Nazarene University. “He is consistent in his desire to serve, thoroughly versed in the latest rules interpretations, and desirous of strengthening the NAIA as a first class organization.”

The 2007 Wally Schwartz Award will be formally presented to Mr. Gary Lance during the 67th Annual NAIA National Convention held in Louisville , Ky. Lance will accept the award on Monday, April 14, 2008, at the NAIA Awards Banquet.

To send a note of congratulations to Gary Lance, CLICK HERE.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is the governing body for athletics programs at its nearly 300 colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada . The long-held mission of the NAIA is to promote the education and development of well-rounded students and productive citizens through intercollegiate athletics. The association offers equitable access and opportunities for participation in its 23 national championship events held annually throughout the country.

Today, the NAIA strengthens its commitment to student-athletes and strives to enrich their college experience by supporting academic achievement and character development. NAIA Champions of Character is the association’s innovative flagship program designed to instill character values in student-athletes, coaches and youth in the communities it serves.