Sports News: Winter 2009-10

For Immediate Release
Contact Michael Wilson, Public Relations
610-861-1365 • wilson@moravian.edu

Moravian to Discontinue Lacrosse as Part of Cost Controls
Action is part of initiative to remain competitive and affordable

Bethlehem, Pa., February 17, 2010—Moravian College President Christopher M. Thomforde informed the campus community today that the College will discontinue competing in lacrosse at the NCAA Division III intercollegiate level at the conclusion of the spring 2010 season.  The discontinuation of both the men’s and women’s athletic teams is part of the College’s affordability initiative in response to ongoing financial challenges spurred by the troubled national economy. 

To maintain a balanced budget and increase financial aid to students for fiscal year 2011-12, Moravian implemented a comprehensive strategic review process to prioritize and reduce programmatic expenses. The College anticipates increasing its budget dedicated to financial aid by approximately 20 percent in comparison to 2008-09, making a quality Moravian education more affordable and accessible for the students it seeks to enroll. In order to increase aid and balance the budget, the College will defer hiring personnel in new positions, eliminate and/or restructure some existing staff positions, and discontinue men’s and women’s lacrosse.

“After undergoing a comprehensive process to assess and evaluate the athletic programs offered at Moravian, we have decided to discontinue lacrosse, rather than diminish the quality of all of our athletic teams by administering across-the-board reductions,” Thomforde explained. “This process looked closely at the vitality and overall quality of each athletic team in terms of history and tradition, competitive success, budget implications, and other criteria.”

The discontinuation of lacrosse reduces the number of varsity athletic teams from 20 to 18. “By concentrating our focus on existing programs, we will continue to remain highly competitive and provide a quality experience for our student athletes,” Thomforde noted.

In the weeks leading up to today’s announcement, administrators held discussions with the Athletic Department and coaches, and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and held an open forum with all student athletes.

“Moravian College is in a healthy position to be able to respond to the economic challenges faced by institutions of higher learning,” Thomforde noted. “We have made choices in a strategic manner to discover the right balance for the use of our resources to make a Moravian education accessible to all students, regardless of their background—but doing so requires us to control costs and shift resources to financial aid that benefits the large majority of students.”

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.