Hamilton to Join NESCAC as Full-Playing Member

Continentals to Participate in All Conference Sports Beginning in 2011-12

HADLEY, Mass. – Hamilton College will join the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) as a full-playing member effective with the start of the 2011-12 academic year, it was announced today by Barry Mills, President of Bowdoin College and chair of the NESCAC presidents, and Andrea Savage, Executive Director of the NESCAC. Twenty-one of the Continentals’ 28 teams already participate in conference competition, while the remaining seven - men’s and women’s basketball, field hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s soccer - currently compete in the Liberty League, a nine-member conference based throughout Upstate New York.

“We are pleased to welcome Hamilton College into the NESCAC as a full participant,” said Mills. “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.”

The NESCAC formally became a playing conference beginning with the 2000-01 season. At that time, Hamilton participated in the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association, now the Liberty League, in seven sports. Prior to this, Hamilton had a full league schedule in both the NESCAC and the UCAA in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball from 1997-2000.

“As a charter member of the league when it was first founded in 1971, the NESCAC looks forward to the date when all of Hamilton’s teams compete in conference competition,” stated Savage.

The NESCAC presidents weighed the practicalities and the cost of fully integrating Hamilton as a playing member of the conference while also considering the philosophical and educational missions of both member institutions and the conference as a whole. During the presidents’ most recent meeting on April 15 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, the presidents agreed to have Hamilton participate as a full conference member.

“I am grateful to my fellow NESCAC presidents for the collegiality they showed Hamilton in reaching this decision,” said Hamilton President Joan Hinde Stewart.

Implementation of the addition of Hamilton in the seven sports, which will include conference scheduling and championships, will be reviewed and completed by the athletics directors of the NESCAC prior to the start of the 2011-12 season.

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.

The members of the NESCAC include Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University, and Williams College. For more information on the NESCAC, visit www.nescac.com.

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