KINGS POINT, New York. December 13. THE presidents of eight colleges and universities have announced the formation of a new NCAA Division III athletics conference. The members of the new conference will compete in all sports other than football. The conference, yet to be named, will begin competition in the fall of 2007.
The institutions are Catholic University, Washington, D.C.; Drew University, Madison, NJ; Goucher College, Baltimore, MD; Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA; Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA; Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ; Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY.
In a joint statement, presidents of the above institutions outlined the purpose and character of the new conference: "In forming an affiliation with this new conference, we have affirmed a shared focus on institutional excellence that emphasizes our academic mission and a belief that athletics competition is an important component of the undergraduate experience."
"We're pleased to be competing with seven splendid schools that emphasize scholarship and truly support the concept of athletics as an important part of the student's education," remarked Vice Admiral and Superintendent Joseph D. Stewart.
Echoing the Vice Admiral's remarks, Susan Petersen Lubow, USMMA director of athletics, noted that, "It is an exciting opportunity for Kings Point Athletics to be associated with the seven other institutions in the new conference. As a federal service academy, we have midshipmen from all over the United States, and this conference gives us that geographic exposure. Additionally, it is important to be associated with institutions whose academics and athletic philosophies are similar to ours."
In addition to athletics competition, members of the new conference will explore ways to develop and expand curricular and co-curricular relationships among their institutions.
Presidents of the eight member institutions indicated that work had begun on a full range of organizational activities related to the formation of a new conference, including the articulation of conference philosophy, drafting and adoption of governing by-laws, petition for NCAA recognition, staffing and organization of conference offices, and establishment of operating and financial procedures.
Teams from the eight colleges and universities will continue to participate in their current conferences through spring 2007.