WINTHROP, Mass. – The Great Northeast Athletic Conference is pleased to announce that Colby-Sawyer College and Regis College have accepted invitations to join the league as full-time members, as announced by GNAC Commissioner Joe Walsh last Thursday morning.
Regis will join the GNAC beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, while Colby-Sawyer will enter the conference in 2018-19.
"Colby-Sawyer and Regis both have a track record of commitment to the GNAC's core values and are like-minded academically, athletically and geographically with our current member institutions," said Walsh. "Throughout the application process, it was clear that these two institutions are very much committed to their athletic programs, student-athletes and coaching staffs."
Located in Weston, Mass., Regis is a leading Catholic university in Greater Boston, with 2,000 undergraduates, graduate and doctoral students in the arts, sciences, nursing and health professions. The school, founded in 1927, is located on a 132-acre campus just 12 miles from the vibrant and cultural life of downtown Boston. Regis is set to enter the GNAC in 15 months.
"We are delighted that the GNAC has invited our teams to be a part of its exciting and innovative league," said Regis President Antoinette M. Hays, PhD. "We know that joining the GNAC will be tremendously beneficial to the entire university and will enhance the experience of our student-athletes both academically and athletically. We want to thank the New England Collegiate Conference as we move enthusiastically toward a new era of Regis Athletics."
Regis has competed in the NECC since 2011, claiming six conference championships during the 2015-16 academic year alone. The Pride women have captured the NECC Champions' Cup five straight years, while the men won it in 2015 and finished second in 2016. Regis competes outdoors at its athletic complex, which was constructed in 2009 and includes a turf playing field, eight-lane track, six tennis courts and softball facility with lights.
"We would like to thank the GNAC, its presidents, and its athletic directors for the invitation to join the GNAC beginning in September 2017," said Regis Director of Athletics Rob Riley. "President Hays, along with the Regis administration, our coaching staffs and student-athletes are all excited about the offer. We look forward to making the GNAC proud, both on and off the athletic fields."
Colby-Sawyer's campus is home to more than 1,200 students in New London, N.H., located approximately 90 minutes north of Boston and surrounded by the beautiful mountains of the Lake Sunapee region. The private, independent undergraduate institution was founded in 1837 and is dedicated to providing educational programs in the liberal arts and sciences.
"We are excited to join the GNAC in 2018 as the next step for Colby-Sawyer after what will have been seven wonderful years in the North Atlantic Conference," said President Thomas C. Galligan Jr. "The GNAC is a group of private colleges like us located in areas many of our students call home. Joining the conference will provide fantastic competitive opportunities while easing travel burdens for our student-athletes and their families."
"I look forward to Colby-Sawyer joining the GNAC in 2018-19," says President-elect Susan D. Stuebner, who takes office July 1. "Our students will benefit from the high level of competition closer to home, and with less time on the road for away games, they will have more time to dedicate to their primary commitment of academics."
As a member of the NAC, Colby-Sawyer has won 22 conference championships since 2011, including seven in 2015-16. The Chargers compete and train on campus in the Dan and Kathleen Hogan Sports Center and at the Patricia D. Kelsey Athletic Campus.
"We are very excited to join the GNAC and the opportunities it will provide our student-athletes," said Colby-Sawyer Athletic Director Bill Foti. "The conference's geographic footprint will bring us closer to our recruiting stomping grounds and alumni base."
"Colby-Sawyer is thrilled to join the GNAC starting in the 2018-19 academic year," added Colby-Sawyer Athletic Director George Martin. "It will allow our student-athletes to compete against many fine colleges and universities throughout New England, and the GNAC's core values of Community, Sportsmanship and Integrity match well with the values of Colby-Sawyer."
The GNAC currently consists of 12 member institutions and has at least one school in each state across New England. Founded in 1995, it provides championship opportunities for more than 3,000 student-athletes. The conference most recently added Anna Maria College as a full member in 2011, and prior to that welcomed Lasell College, Mount Ida College and Saint Joseph's College of Maine in 2007.
Colby-Sawyer and Regis will become conference foes once again after spending 16 years together as members of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).
"On the field, Colby-Sawyer and Regis help secure the GNAC's NCAA Tournament automatic qualifiers in men's tennis, women's tennis and field hockey," added Commissioner Walsh. "Their additions will also enable the GNAC to sponsor championships in men's and women's track & field as well as men's swimming & diving in the future."
"I would like to thank everyone involved who collaborated with this effort, including Saint Joseph's President Dr. James Dlugos, who is the chair of the GNAC Presidents' Council," said Walsh. "I am confident that the additions of Colby-Sawyer and Regis will have a positive effect on the GNAC and our student-athletes."