By: Fitzroy Harris
Although it is small in size Milligan still manages to attract students from all over the world. Milligan accommodates 24 international students 17 of which are athletes.
“We try to identify potential student-athletes who are good “fits” for our institution and will help us to compete at a very high level on the field of competition,” Athletic Director Ray Smith said.
According to Smith head coaches of each sport are responsible for meeting a designated roster requirement. Each sport has a budget managed by the head coach, which is applied to both international and national recruiting.
Milligan fosters the academic, spiritual and athletic abilities of foreign athletes. The athletic and academic departments cater for international athletes from Africa, England, Finland, Sweden, Canada and different islands in the Caribbean.
International athletes have to be cleared by the NAIA Eligibility Center and provide a test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score to Milligan. An affidavit of support and prepaid expenses for the semester is required. A writing sample and college-level mathematics course must be completed.
Over the years, international athletes have represented most sports at Milligan. Presently, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s basketball, softball, men’s tennis, swimming, indoor and outdoor track are represented by non-American athletes.
“International students bring a global perspective to the campus that wouldn’t be here if they were not,” Director of Enrollment Management Tracy Brinn said.
Solid academic performance is also constant for foreign athletes.
“International students perform at and above the 2.0 GPA required by the time they are juniors,” Assistant Registrar Cindy Wymer said.
Sports performance and achievement by international student-athletes has given Milligan national recognition. Philip Rotich (Kenya), 2003 All-American performance in cross-country and track.
International athletes hold school records for indoor and outdoor sprinting along with representation at NAIA Nationals within the past year. AAC conference soccer champions and MVP are also awarded to Milligan’s international athletes.