SO College

Are you in? Are you a fan of dignity? Of acceptance? Of the humanity of all people, regardless of ability or disability? If so, it is time you joined our network of college and university students supporting Special Olympics.

Create A Community of Acceptance & Respect on Your Campus

Special Olympics College Clubs functions as an official club on campus and connects college students and individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport to build friendships and help lead the social justice movement of Special Olympics.

Special Olympics College Club programs are made up of three core elements: Unified Sports, Youth Leadership, and opportunities for Full Campus Engagement.

Together these components can help students work for and with Special Olympics athletes to help transform school campuses into communities of acceptance and respect. Below are examples of how these components can work in your school.

Special Olympics College Clubs

Special Olympics College Clubs function as an official student organization on campus and are led by students with and without intellectual disabilities. Many clubs also allow Special Olympics athletes from the community as members. Members of a Special Olympics College Club gain experience participating in Unified Sports and hosting Special Olympics events thus creating meaningful inclusion of people with and without intellectual disabilities in the campus community.

Special Olympics Unified Sports® Intramurals

In partnership with NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation, hundreds of colleges are providing Special Olympics Unified Sports intramural leagues on campus. These leagues are inspired by a simple principle: training, playing and competing together is a quick path to friendship, understanding and meaningful inclusion. These leagues welcome student partners and Special Olympics athletes at any level of skill or experience.

NCAA Division III Partnership

Through Special Olympics events and competitions, NCAA Division III student-athletes are encouraged to engage and learn from Special Olympics athletes. This promotes citizenship and creates a comprehensive learning experience between the two groups.

NAIA Collaboration

Through an official collaboration, Special Olympics supports the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and its Champions of Character® program for over 65,000 NAIA student-athletes. The student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes are able to interact, connect and build friendships through participation in existing Special Olympics events and initiatives or by the creation of new initiatives.

American Academy of Development Medicine and Dentistry Student/Resident Committees

American Academy of Development Medicine and Dentistry Student/Resident Committees function as official clubs on campus to promote a community of students/residents in medical and dental school who are interested in serving individuals with intellectual disabilities. They provide opportunities for education, leadership and growth within the field as well as mentoring opportunities with AADMD physicians/dentists for guidance. These student/residents also create community projects and advocate for individuals with intellectual disabilities within the health field. Apply today to create a chapter on your campus. Contact AADMD with any questions.

Greek Life

Many fraternities and sororities across the country donate their time, resources, and money to the Special Olympics movement. These fraternities and sororities host events/fundraisers, coach, volunteer, and bring awareness on their campuses. In fact three Greek organizations have chosen Special Olympics as their national philanthropy: Sigma Tau Gamma, Phi Sigma Kappa, Alpha Sigma Alpha and Alpha Phi Omega.

SO Colleges in Maine

There are currently seven SO Colleges in Maine:

  • Bates College
  • Bowdoin College
  • Colby College
  • Husson College
  • Maine Maritime Academy
  • Thomas College
  • University of Maine
  • University of New England
  • University of Southern Maine

Ready to join? Fill out the SO College Application and check out the SO College Starter Guide for tips and ideas to start a SO College chapter on your campus.

SO College Resources


Director of Unified Champion School
Caroline Cole
(207) 879-0489 ext 13