College Moves Athletics Program to NCAA Division II  

 Griffins join Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference

Friday, August 30, 2007

 President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D., announced today the College’s reclassification from NCAA Division III to NCAA Division II and full membership in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC).

“The move to Division II is significant for Chestnut Hill College because it provides students the opportunity to compete at a higher level without compromising their commitment to academic excellence,” said College President Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D. “The true scholar-athlete desires intense competition on the playing field or court, but likewise wants to be challenged in the classroom. The values of Division II share a wonderful congruence with the mission of Chestnut Hill College. These values include: balance, resourcefulness, service, learning, sportsmanship, and passion. We expect excellence of our athletes both on and off the fields of play, that is why Chestnut Hill College chose Division II. Further, we readily accepted the invitation to join the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) because the member schools have clearly demonstrated their dedication to these same values and to the primacy of academics. We look forward to this new challenge for Chestnut Hill College.”

Chestnut Hill College, a member of the NCAA Division III since 1996, has enjoyed unprecedented success in its athletics program since going coed in 2003. Since that time, 13 of the College’s varsity athletics programs have qualified for conference playoffs and three teams have garnered appearances in their respective NCAA Tournament, including women’s soccer (2003, 2004), women’s basketball (2005), and men’s soccer (2006).

“In making the move to Division II, we are delighted to accept the invitation to join the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference,” said Director of Athletics Bill Stiles, who has been at the helm of the athletics department since 2004. “Affiliation in this conference allows Chestnut Hill College the opportunity to develop intra-city rivalries with Philadelphia University, Holy Family University, and the University of the Sciences along with the increased exposure that goes with it. The welfare of our student-athletes also improves with this transition, decreasing the amount of time teams spend traveling thus reducing the amount of missed class time.”
The NCAA Division II is composed of 22 conferences and 16 independent institutions ranging from coast-to-coast and beyond. Chestnut Hill College holds provisional Division II status in 2007-2008 and will become full, active members in 2008-2009.

The CACC and its student-athletes take pride in the balance between academics and athletics. The CACC is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of scholarship, sportsmanship, ethical conduct, teamwork, and service to the community. The conference is committed to enhancing intercollegiate competition among its member institutions with primary importance placed on student-athlete welfare.

According to a 2006 report, the CACC finished third nationally among Division II Conferences for the graduation rate of its student-athletes. In addition, the conference established its inaugural All-Academic team in the fall of 2004 and the number of names on the list continues to grow each year. The CACC has also become one of the national leaders in the annual Division II Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraiser. The 2005-06 academic year saw the CACC finish fourth among all Division II Conferences in money raised ($7,420) and was one of only three conferences to have 100 percent participation among its member schools.

The CACC membership includes: Bloomfield College, Bloomfield, N.J.; Caldwell College, Caldwell, N.J.; Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, Pa.; Dominican College, Orangeburg, N.Y.; Felician College, Rutherford, N.J.; Georgian Court University, Lakewood, N.J.; Goldey-Beacom College, Wilmington, Del., Holy Family University, Philadelphia, Pa.; Nyack College in Nyack, N.Y.; Philadelphia University, Philadelphia, Pa.; Post University, Waterbury, Con.; The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pa.; and Wilmington College, New Castle, Del.