52 total votes.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Sunday that Georgia Gwinnett College was approved for full membership beginning Aug. 1.
GGC was part of a group of seven colleges that applied for membership and only four were accepted by the NAIA — Indiana University-Kokomo, Lindenwood University-Belleville (Ill.) and St. Andrews University (N.C.) were the others.
The decision, announced Sunday at the NAIA's annual convention in Newport Beach, Calif., allows the start-up GGC intercollegiate athletic teams to compete in NAIA play immediately. The Grizzlies will be eligible to compete for NAIA championships starting in 2013-14.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the NAIA,” GGC athletic director Darin Wilson said. “This is a key step in building intercollegiate athletics at GGC. It's a testament to all of the people at GGC who have worked so hard to make this a reality.”
This year's cycle is the first of a more in-depth process for joining the NAIA. The organization's Membership Committee reviewed the applications, a Membership Evaluation Team visited GGC and then the membership was subject to a vote by the Council of Presidents.
"We are pleased to accept these quality insitutions as NAIA members," said Martin Methodist (Tenn.) College's Ted Brown, chairman of the NAIA's Council of Presidents. "This was the first year of a new process put in place to strengthen the review of membership applications, and it has worked well. We are taking a hard look at schools to make sure they are a good fit with the NAIA, so it's more about a good fit than pure numbers."
GGC has released plans for its athletic facilities and has planned six intercollegiate sports teams for the 2012-13 school year — baseball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and fastpitch softball. The school is considering the addition of men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball for the 2013-14 school year.
Now the college knows its teams will be competing as an NAIA program.
“This is a historic moment for the college and for Grizzly Athletics,” said GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman. “I commend Dr. Wilson and his entire staff for how quickly they are progressing toward our first official season in intercollegiate competition.”