Westminster College walked away with several conference wide honors at the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) awards banquet including the 2015-16 All-Sports Trophy and the Sportsmanship award. In addition MacMurray College received the SLIAC/SAAC Community Service award for the third consecutive year.
Westminster College claimed the school's first ever SLIAC All-Sports trophy, which is awarded to the school with the most success in the conference's sponsored sports. The Blue Jays finished the year with 95.0 total points, edging out Webster University for the conference's top athletic program award; and ending Webster's 11 consecutive wins. Westminster is just the fourth school in conference history to win the award, joining Webster, Fontbonne University, and former league member Maryville University. Westminster took home two regular season titles during 2015-16 season; with their men's soccer and women's basketball programs holding those honors. In addition the Blue Jays finished in the top four of the standings in 11 of the 12 conference sponsored sports including second place finishes in baseball, softball, and volleyball. Although the points are awarded solely based on final standings, the Blue Jays continued their regular season success in the postseason as they appeared in all seven championship games of the conference's fully sponsored sports.
The SLIAC All-Sports Championship Trophy is determined by awarding points based on each schools finish in the Conference’s 12 sports, earning ten points for a first-place finish, nine points for a second-place finish, etc. Teams finishing tied split the points for the tied spot and the spot(s) immediately following (two teams finishing tied for third receives 7.5 points). In 2010 the SLIAC All-Sports Trophy guidelines were changed to be determined by total points, rather than a points average. The change was made to further encourage the NCAA Division III philosophy of broad-based athletics programs.
This is the first time Westminster has won the the SLIAC Sportsmanship award. The Blue Jays took home the Team Sportsmanship awards in Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, and Women's Tennis. The SLIAC Sportsmanship Award was created to recognize the institution whose athletics program as a whole demonstrates the ideals of sportsmanship based on the results of each of the 12 team sportsmanship awards.
MacMurray continued their run of winning the conference's community service award, taking home the award each year since its inception three years ago. The Highlanders collected over 3,200 cans this year in the conference wide Canned Food Drive competition. MacMurray won two of the three competition periods this year, fall and spring. As a whole the SLIAC collected over 6,100 canned food items during the 2015-16 school year.
The SLIAC/SAAC Community Service Award was first awarded last year, and is presented to the school who collects the most canned food items during the school year. The goal is to give back to the community and further develop citizenship among its student-athletes. Each institution and their SAAC committee holds canned food drives throughout the year, with the collected donations going to a local food pantry. Collection periods end during the last weekend of the regular season for each of the respective sports. Cash donations are also accepted with every dollar donated counting as two canned food items. The competition is divided into three collection periods; the fall season, the winter season, and the spring season.
In addition the SLIAC recognized the 2016 Male and Female Scholar Athlete winners; Jared Jones from Blackburn College and Kasey Gatson from Westminster College; and the 2016 SLIAC Hall of Fame class which included: Lyn Gerber, Principia College; Bill Killen, MacMurray College; Michael LeVan, Principia College; Stefan Neece, Greenville College; and Terry Logue, Westminster College. Dr. Doug Faulkner, from Greenville College, also received the 2016 Lee McKinney Distinguished Service award. Westminster College also received the innaugural American Cancer Society fundraiser trophy, recognizing the school who raised the most money during the year for Coaches vs. Cancer as a part of the conference wide fundraising event.