Johnson C. Smith University is among 22 schools and three conferences competing for the 2016 Division II Award of Excellence, which recognizes positive initiatives taken in 2015.
JCSU was nominated for an intercollegiate volleyball game it hosted to promote non-violence and pay tribute to the nine people killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
The Purple Game of Honor was held Oct. 1 against Johnson & Wales University. One of the shooting victims, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, had a daughter who played on each team teams. Attendees at the game were encouraged to wear purple to show their support for non-violence.
Other Division II schools competing for the award sponsored events benefiting a host of initiatives, including Make-A-Wish, Team IMPACT, members of the U.S. military, breast cancer research and efforts to combat childhood hunger.
A winner and two runners-up will be announced Jan. 16 in San Antonio. The winner will receive $1,500 and a nationally televised football or basketball game during the 2016-17 seasons. The first runner-up will receive $1,250, and the second runner-up will receive $1,000. All prize money is expected to be used on future community engagement initiatives.