posted June 11, 2013

NCAA Hall of Champions Exhibit Highlights MIAA Anniversary

The NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis, Ind.  is celebrating the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s (MIAA) 125th anniversary with a special exhibit.  

The exhibit, which includes awards, memorabilia and historical information, will be on display in the Hall’s Membership Showcase area through September.

The MIAA began March 24, 1888 and is touted as America’s oldest collegiate athletic conference.   The conference has always conducted full-season championships in multiple sports, though there have been additions and removals of some athletic events over the course of the league’s history.   Bicycle racing and club juggling are no longer in existence, however the league currently offers 20 sports for men and women.  

Hope College has been a member since 1926. MIAA members were invited to submit stories of historical significance. Hope's include the story of the amazing 1990 accomplishment of winning an NCAA championship by the women's basketball team, a story that talks about sportsmanship featuring the men's tennis program and a profile about Hope College President Dr. Jim Bultman who has a lifelong connection with Division III, beginning as a Hope student-athlete, then as a professor, coach and administrator and most recently in a leadership role with the NCAA. Hope also provided on loan a pair of hand-carved wooden shoes used as the travelling trophy for the "Wooden Shoes" rivalry football game with Kalamazoo College and the 1937-38 MIAA All-Sports trophy, the first of 34 won by Hope over the years.

The display includes a timeline dedicated to the addition of women’s sports, historic photographs, articles and awards along with general facts about the league and how it has developed into one of the most successful and notable conferences in NCAA Division III.

“The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is celebrating a milestone in its history and the NCAA Hall of Champions wants to take this opportunity to share the story of the league’s successes and to put a spotlight on its member school and student-athlete accomplishments in Division III and the NCAA,” said Kelly Dodds, associate director of the NCAA Hall of Champions.  “The Hall of Champions is dedicated to telling the story of the NCAA, its members, and its student-athletes and we welcome this opportunity to celebrate with the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.”

The NCAA Hall of Champions is a two-level, 30,000-square foot facility that celebrates the academic and athletic experiences of current and former NCAA student-athletes and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.   The Hall of Champions features interactive exhibits, relevant artifacts and memorabilia, as well as photos and video that center on the 23 NCAA sports and 89 championships.   The Hall of Champions is located in downtown Indianapolis in White River State Park and serves as a meeting and event facility and public attraction.  It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.   Regular admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children, senior citizens and students.   For more information, go to www.ncaahallofchampions.org or call 317/916-HALL.   For more information on the NCAA, go to www.ncaa.org.