Five of the Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) joined with 3 other liberal arts colleges in the southeastern region to announce formation of a new Division III athletic conference beginning with the 2012-13 season. All but one of the 8 schools are current members of the NCAA Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC).
Drawing from six states, the new conference will include Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, Centre College in Kentucky, Hendrix College in Arkansas, Millsaps College in Mississippi, Berry College and Oglethorpe University in Georgia, and Rhodes College and The University of the South (Sewanee) in Tennessee.
According to a press release from Oglethorpe (home of the Stormy Petrels), the new conference is being formed to “foster athletic competition and cooperation among academically selective, residential liberal arts colleges located in the southeastern region of the United States.”
As part of the agreement, Hendrix College agreed to officially re-institute football, which had been discontinued after the 1960 season. The school will also add women’s lacrosse.
Now centered in two time-zones, the realignment should result in reduced travel time and costs as well as fewer missed classes. The new league will have all the teams in contiguous states, keeping within about a 500-mile radius.
“The new conference will more closely resemble the makeup of our academic consortium, the American Colleges of the South, further ensuring the continuity of our mission in our academic and athletic programs,” said Hendrix College president J. Timothy Cloyd.
Founded in 1962 by Centre, Rhodes, and Sewanee, the 12-member SCAC will be forced to regroup as a result of the departure of 7 schools. Remaining with the SCAC will be Austin College, Colorado College, University of Dallas (joining in the fall), Southwestern College, and Trinity University in Texas.
The first official meeting of the new conference took place immediately following the conclusion of the 2011 annual SCAC meeting.