April 04, 2022
For students who want to continue playing the sport they love at the collegiate level and an academically challenging college experience – Division III athletics is the place to be. In fact, it could be said that DIII athletics is the most sensible approach to athletics and academics.
“As a DIII institution, Susquehanna University provides a well-rounded collegiate experience that involves a balance of rigorous academics, competitive athletics and the opportunity to pursue the multitude of other co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities offered on Division III campuses,” said Athletics Director Sharief Hashim. “We have a mandate to put academics before athletics, so we do everything we can to give athletes the chance to become integral parts of their academic environment and give students the opportunity to continue their athletic careers.”
Approximately 30% of Susquehanna’s student population is a member of one of SU’s 23 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports teams. Division III offers an intense and competitive athletics environment for student-athletes who play for the love of the game, without the obligation of an athletics scholarship, said David Kitchen ’14, head strength and conditioning coach who also played football for the River Hawks from 2010-2012.
“After having the opportunity to coach at all three levels of collegiate athletics, I continue to be impressed by the opportunities DIII offers for student-athletes to be involved in activities far beyond athletics,” Kitchen said. “We have student-athletes who participate in orchestra, student government, committees, etc. They then bring these experiences to the athletic community, and everyone benefits. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Division III affords student-athletes the opportunity to discover valuable lessons in teamwork, discipline, perseverance and leadership, which in turn make athletes better students and responsible citizens, said Allison Fordyce head coach of Susquehanna’s field hockey team.
“DIII is really a holistic approach to the overall student experience. Our student-athletes can compete at a high level, while excelling in the classroom and being well-rounded citizens of the campus and surrounding community,” Fordyce said. “You can create your own experience as a DIII student-athlete and the opportunities for who you can be are endless.”
Kitchen also noted another unique aspect of Susquehanna’s DIII status — community.
“Our student-athletes know each other outside of sports due to the campus size, which creates a more closely-knit athletics department,” he said. “Our teams all support each other and are genuinely invested in each other’s success.”