Competitive Excellence in Division I Athletics

Competitive Excellence in Division I Athletics

This feature is part of a series detailing the core values of Harvard Athletics as outlined in the department’s mission statement.


-- By Bob Scalise, The John D. Nichols ’53 Family Director of Athletics

We, at Harvard, believe that the pursuit of excellence through personal development and teamwork is critical in developing habits that will lead to better and healthier lives. It is through this pursuit that we learn to take risks and challenge ourselves, that we learn to communicate with others, and that we learn to lead a group of individuals toward a common goal.

The results of this pursuit can be seen in the successes our programs have enjoyed within the Ivy League. Since the league’s formation prior to the 1956-57 academic year, Harvard has won an astounding 394 team championships. That number ranks as the second most in the Ancient Eight’s storied history, and is 171 more than the next school on the list. The bar was raised even higher by the Class of 2015, which graduated in May with a combined 43 Ivy League championships, more than any other class in Harvard history.

The pursuit of excellence has also allowed our student-athletes’ successes to transcend the Ivy League, as evidenced by the 141 team national championships attained by our programs. That national success began early with the men’s track team winning seven consecutive intercollegiate titles from 1880-86, and continues to this day with the women’s squash program capturing three of the last four CSCAA national championships.

As we get set to begin a new academic year, we look forward to taking part in our student-athlete’s pursuit of excellence and wish them the best of luck.