NCAA President Mark Emmert to speak at Western
WCSU President’s Lecture to focus on student-athlete success & well-being

Image of Dr. Mark EmmertDANBURY, CONN. — Dr. Mark Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), will discuss the importance of promoting the success and well-being of students participating in intercollegiate athletic programs when he delivers the 2014 spring semester President’s Lecture at Western Connecticut State University on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. (This event has been canceled due to weather, but will be rescheduled at a future date.)

Emmert’s lecture, presented as part of the WCSU President’s Lecture series, will be at 7:30 p.m. in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited to attend.  

Emmert, who became the fifth president of the NCAA in October 2010, will address core values inherent in the philosophy of the NCAA and Division III programs such as WCSU that promote the well-rounded development of student-athletes through an emphasis on both competitive success and personal well-being. His lecture will underscore the role of these values in preserving continuity during a period of major change in collegiate athletics as programs in all NCAA divisions confront important decisions that will reshape their futures. 

“It’s our job to help those student-athletes who give everything they have to their studies and their sport, and turn those experiences into skills that will propel them into the future they have earned and deserve,” Emmert wrote in his president’s message posted last fall on the NCAA website. “It is our responsibility to show them how to capitalize on all they have gained in their time with us. No matter what division, what region or what resource level in which you operate, we are all grounded in a set of values that place our student-athletes at the core.

“Our student-athletes are learning how to lead with grace, to depend on and be responsible to others, to be accountable for their mistakes, and to analyze and think critically,” he added. “We have to be sure we are sending people out into the world who are able to use the skills they’ve developed as student-athletes to create positive change.” 

Emmert’s remarks on the NCAA website emphasize the common mission of intercollegiate athletics at all levels. “While the NCAA’s three divisions are distinctive, they also are joined by common values,” he said. “The goals and values of student-athlete learning and well-being are the same, whether we’re talking about a football game at the Big House at Michigan or a soccer game at Hobart.” 

Prior to assuming his current position at the NCAA, Emmert served from 2004 to 2010 as president of the University of Washington. An alumnus who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at UW, he played a central role as president in advancing the university’s success as one of the nation’s leading higher education institutions in securing research grant and contract funding.  

Previously, he held top administrative positions as chief operating and academic officer at the University of Connecticut from 1995 to 1999, and as chancellor of Louisiana State University from 1999 to 2004. A Ph.D. recipient in public administration from Syracuse University, he began his higher education career as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Colorado from 1985 to 1992, and as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Montana State University from 1992 to 1995. 

Emmert has written extensively in professional journals about topics in higher education and public administration. He is a member of the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues that serves as part of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the former chair of the Executive Group of the Worldwide Universities Network and served on the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board. 

For more information, contact or call the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

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