The presidents of the 11 colleges comprising the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) voted at their regular meeting in Maine on April 15 to integrate Hamilton fully into conference play effective with the 2011-12 academic year. www.nescac.com.
The league office, in cooperation with the athletics directors at the member colleges, will work out the details of the change.
Hamilton is a charter member of the NESCAC dating to its founding in 1971. Currently, 21 of Hamilton's 28 teams compete in NESCAC. The remaining seven - field hockey, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's basketball, and men's and women's lacrosse - have competed since 1995 in the Liberty League (formerly the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association). Hamilton sought the change because its dual athletic affiliation has been complicated and confusing to prospective students.
"We are pleased to welcome Hamilton College into the NESCAC as a full participant," said Barry Mills, president of Bowdoin College and chair of the NESCAC presidents. "The NESCAC places a high value on collegiality, and in making this decision, the conference recognizes its leadership position as a group guided by the highest educational standards and academic principles."
"I am grateful to my fellow NESCAC presidents for the collegiality they showed Hamilton in reaching this decision," said President Joan Hinde Stewart who attended the meeting in Brunswick, Maine.
Stewart also expressed Hamilton's gratitude to the presidents, athletics directors and coaches in the Liberty League. "We greatly appreciate the cooperative way in which our colleges have worked to provide opportunities for our student-athletes."
About the NESCAC:
The NESCAC is a group of 11 highly selective liberal arts colleges and universities that share a similar philosophy for intercollegiate athletics. The conference was created out of a concern for the direction of intercollegiate athletic programs, and remains committed to keeping a proper perspective on the role of sport in higher education. NESCAC members believe intercollegiate athletic programs should operate in harmony with the educational mission of each institution. NESCAC institutions also believe athletic teams should be representative of the entire student body.
In 1999, the NESCAC formally became a playing conference and now sponsors 26 conference championship sports (13 for men and 13 for women). Member schools offer extensive and broad based intercollegiate as well as club and intramural opportunities for both men and women. With member institutions sponsoring an average of nearly 30 varsity programs, NESCAC provides more than 7,500 opportunities for participation in intercollegiate competition at the NCAA Division III level.
In addition to Hamilton, NESCAC is comprised of Amherst College, Bates College. Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University and Williams College. For more information on the NESCAC, visit