The Columbia International University mascot was unveiled to the student body during a Chapel service on March 24, as CIU prepares to play intercollegiate athletics beginning with the fall 2012 semester.
CIU President Dr. Bill Jones and Athletic Director Kim Abbott announced that CIU athletic teams will be known as The Rams.
“The Ram was chosen as the CIU mascot for its strength and for its biblical significance,” Abbott said. “Not only are they known as ferocious defenders of their territory and their flock, the ram is a symbol of God’s provision – a foreshadowing of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.”
It was also announced that CIU will play in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA), whose mission is to use athletic competition as an integral component of education, evangelism and encouragement.
“Athletics at CIU offers a way for students to draw closer to God through the rigors of training and the grind of competition,” Abbott said. “But it also opens the door for more venues for ministry locally and across the globe as athletes glorify God through their gifts, talents, and spirit of good sportsmanship.”
Which sports CIU will field first is still being determined, but athletic facilities are being prepared. The Moore Fitness Center,which includes a collegiate-length basketball court that is adaptable for collegiate volleyball, was built in 2008. Also, land has been cleared for intercollegiate baseball, softball and soccer fields.