Wellesley, Mass. – The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Presidents' Council announced today the addition of Emerson College as the conference's 11th member, marking the first expansion of conference membership in 14 years.
The Presidents' Council voted unanimously to extend an invitation for membership to Emerson and the College will join the NEWMAC for the 2013-14 academic year, sponsoring teams in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball.
"On behalf of the NEWMAC Presidents' Council, I am thrilled to welcome Emerson into our conference," said Lynn Pasquerella, President of Mount Holyoke College and chair of the NEWMAC Presidents' Council. "Emerson College clearly demonstrates the commitment to academic and athletic excellence that is at the center of the NEWMAC's mission," President Pasquerella added.
"On behalf of the Emerson College community, it gives me great pleasure to accept the invitation to join the NEWMAC as its 11th member," said Emerson College President Lee Pelton. "We are proud to be counted among such distinctive academic institutions and the opportunities our association with them will offer to our student athletes to develop the capacities for leadership, excellence, and collaboration that are so important to succeed in life."
The addition of Emerson fulfills an ongoing strategic initiative by the NEWMAC Presidents' Council to expand conference membership in order to provide the highest-quality experience for its institutions, athletic programs and student-athletes. The College's mission and values are consistent with those of the NEWMAC and its academic uniqueness and standards and geographic proximity to the current NEWMAC members fit the expectations of the conference.
NEWMAC President and Mount Holyoke Director of Athletics, Laurie Priest, added, "The NEWMAC supports the highest standards of excellence in Division III athletics and Emerson College clearly shares all of the NEWMAC's core values including excellence, integrity, commitment, equity and diversity. We are delighted to welcome Emerson into the NEWMAC and know they will enhance the competitive opportunities for our student-athletes."
Emerson Athletic Director, Kristen Parnell, remarked "This is truly an exciting opportunity for Emerson Athletics, as we feel the NEWMAC offers Emerson an elite level of competition and academic excellence that pairs perfectly with the mission of both the College and the Athletic Department."
Emerson becomes the NEWMAC's first new member since the addition of Springfield College and the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1998, which coincided with the establishment of the conference in its current form, as the former New England Women's 8 Conference (NEW 8) began sponsoring regular season and championship competition for men.
The NEW 8 began play in 1985-86 as the New England Women's 6 Conference (NEW 6). Its charter members were Babson College, Brandeis University, MIT, Smith College, Wellesley College and Wheaton College. Mount Holyoke College and WPI joined in 1988 and the name was changed to the NEW 8 Conference. At the conclusion of the 1994-95 academic year, Brandeis University withdrew from the NEW 8 to join the University Athletic Association and Clark University accepted membership, keeping the NEW 8's membership at eight institutions.
About the NEWMAC: The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) is an association of ten selective academic institutions that are committed to providing high quality competitive athletic opportunities for student-athletes within an educational and respectful environment that embodies the NCAA Division III philosophy.
About Emerson College: Located in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city's Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,453 undergraduates and 837 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 80 student organizations and performance groups, 14 NCAA teams, student publications, honor societies, television stations including the Emerson Channel, and WERS-FM, the nation's highest rated student-run radio station. Emerson is internationally known for its study and internship programs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic.