It’s a Whole New Ball Game (or More)
Moravian’s Football Team Invited to Join Centennial Conference
Moravian College has accepted an invitation from the Centennial Conference to become an associate member for football only, effective during the 2007 season.
“After careful consideration and with the approval of our Board of Trustees, Moravian has elected to take advantage of this opportunity to renew our traditional football rivalries with the members of the Centennial Conference,” said Moravian president Ervin J. Rokke. “This move also will bring even greater excitement and prestige to our longstanding rivalry with Muhlenberg College, which began more than a century ago.”
Joining Moravian in its move to the Centennial Conference is Juniata College, which has also accepted an invitation to become an associate member in football. Centennial football playing members include Dickinson College, Franklin and Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Johns Hopkins University, McDaniel College, Muhlenberg College, and Ursinus College. “We’re pleased to affiliate with institutions that share Moravian’s emphasis on high academic standards and the overall development of the studentathlete,” President Rokke noted.
“The strong academic reputations of Moravian and Juniata were attractive to the Centennial Conference’s Presidents Council,” said Jerome Schnydman, executive assistant to the president of Johns Hopkins University and chair of the council.
“The solid tradition in football and the commitment to the legacy of the scholar-athlete at these two institutions were also deciding factors as we seek to enhance the conference.”
Steve Ulrich, executive director of the Centennial Conference, echoed Schnydman’s comments. “We are thrilled to add Moravian and Juniata to our football family,” he added. “The combination of outstanding academics and a commitment to excellence in athletics makes Moravian and Juniata a perfect fit for our conference.”
“This invitation affirms the long history we’ve had with many Centennial schools and it brings back some of those great football contests our alumni cherish so deeply,” said Paul Moyer, Moravian College director of athletics.
Moravian head football coach Scot Dapp cited the strength and competitive nature of Centennial football. “It will be a difficult schedule,” he said, “but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Moravian’s first football game as an associate member of the Centennial Conference is scheduled to be a home game versus McDaniel College at Rocco Calvo Field on Saturday, September 15, 2007.
New Conference Formed for Other Sports
President Rokke recently joined the presidents of six other colleges and universities to announce 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, Drew University, Goucher College, Juniata College, Moravian College, Susquehanna University, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
In a joint statement, presidents of the seven 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.”
President Rokke observed that as a member of the new conference, “Moravian is looking forward to competition with six truly exceptional schools. Our own campus community will be enriched in many ways by new or continued association with Catholic, Drew, Goucher, Juniata, Susquehanna, and U.S. Merchant Marine.”
Echoing Rokke’s remarks, Paul Moyer noted, “The academic and athletic experience of the membership in this new conference, as well as expanded opportunities to travel to these outstanding institutions throughout the region, will certainly benefit all our student-athletes.”
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 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 bylaws, petition for NCAA recognition, staffing and organization of conference offices, and establishment of operating and financial procedures.
Teams from the seven colleges and universities will continue to participate in their current conferences through spring 2007.