FOREST CITY, IA – Waldorf University and the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) announced Monday that Waldorf will join the GPAC as a full member beginning with the 2024-25 Academic Year. GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra, Waldorf University President Robert Alsop, and Waldorf Director of Athletics Chad Gassman made the joint announcement to a standing room only crowd at Monday’s press conference at the Boman Fine Arts Center in Forest City.
The event will be covered by two of the local market’s major network affiliates: ABC/KAAL (Channel 6) and CBS/KIMT (Channel 3).
The press conference, which aired live on KIOW 107.3 FM, included a question and answer session with television and radio journalists, photographers, Waldorf students and faculty, and a plethora of interested alumni and community members. Attendees were greeted by uniformed members of the Warrior cheerleading squad and Waldorf’s official mascot, Warrick.
“This is a great day for the Great Plains Athletic Conference and our member institutions,” said Westra. “We are excited to welcome Waldorf University to our conference as our 13th member. Throughout the membership process we have been very impressed with the leadership of the university and are looking forward to having the Warriors join our league next year.”
“We are very excited to join the Great Plains Athletic Conference,” said President Alsop. “The GPAC has a strong reputation for quality academics and stellar athletic competition.”
“These are exciting times for Waldorf Athletics,” said Gassman. “The GPAC has a great reputation of being first class, but also very challenging. The coaches and staff are looking forward to the opportunity to compete in this league.”
Waldorf offers 23 varsity sports and fully meets the sport offering requirements of the GPAC. Waldorf is currently an affiliate member of the GPAC for women’s and men’s soccer.
About Waldorf University
(Courtesy of Waldorf University’s Marketing Department, used with permission)
Founded in 1903, Waldorf University is a regionally accredited, faith-based liberal arts university located in the heart of Forest City, Iowa. Waldorf delivers engaging learning experiences through innovative residential and online instruction, providing its students associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees and certificates in the areas of business, communication, criminal justice administration, education, music, psychology, theatre and more.
In December 2022, Waldorf University finalized the transfer of ownership to the Waldorf Lutheran College Foundation. The change of ownership allows Waldorf to return to its private, faith-based, tax-exempt roots.
At Waldorf, we believe that a truly well-rounded education not only involves academic studies, but also participation in the arts, physical education and more. Our vibrant campus is teeming with students from all across the world who have chosen Waldorf to help them achieve their educational goals.
Located in the north-central Iowa community of Forest City. Forest City has a population of 4,285. Waldorf University can be found at 106 S. 6th Street.
About the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC)
(Courtesy of the Great Plains Athletic Conference Office, used with permission)
The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) is an affiliated conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), consisting of 13 private, faith-based colleges and universities in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota. Originally founded in 1969 as the Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC), the league retains four of the six charter members - Concordia, Doane, Hastings, and Midland.
In 1992, the NIAC added Northwestern and became the Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference. Eight years later in 2000-01 Dakota Wesleyan, Dordt, Mount Marty and Sioux Falls joined the conference which became the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). Briar Cliff entered the league in 2002-03 and Morningside joined starting with the 2003-04 school year. In the summer of 2010 Dana College ceased operations (Member from 1969-2010) and in 2011 The University of Sioux Falls discontinued membership in the GPAC (Member from 2000-2011). Nebraska Wesleyan discontinued membership in 2016 (Member from 1969-2016). In 2015-16 the GPAC added College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska, as a member. In 2018-19 the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, North Dakota, was added as a full-time member. On September 18, 2023, Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa, joined as the latest and 13th member of the league (starting with 2024-25). The 13 current league members matches the largest the membership has been in the GPAC since our inception in 2000-01.
The GPAC sponsors 22 intercollegiate sports - nine for women, eleven for men, and cheer & dance as a co-ed offering - and awards an All-Sports Trophy based on the final league standings and conference meet results at the end of each school year.
The GPAC has 37 NAIA team National Champions since 2000-01 and boasts over 700 NAIA-Daktronics Scholar-Athletes annually along with numerous NAIA Scholar-Teams.
First and foremost, the GPAC remains committed to Academic and Athletic Excellence.
Corey Westra of Sioux City, Iowa, is the GPAC Commissioner and Lucas Mohrman of Columbus, Nebraska, is the GPAC Assistant Commissioner for Sports Information.