WESTWOOD, Mass. - As part of the NEWMAC's 25th Anniversary celebration, the conference is taking time throughout the 2022-2023 academic year to reflect on some of the pivotal moments that have transpired in the membership since its inception in 1998. These moments honor the dedication and positive influence of administrators, coaches, and student-athletes over the past two-and-a-half decades that have helped the NEWMAC, and its member institutions become champions of academic and athletic excellence and a preeminent conference in Division III.
At the inception of the NEWMAC in 1998, the conference included 10 founding members- Babson College, Clark University, U.S Coast Guard Academy, MIT, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Springfield College, Wellesley College, Wheaton College, and WPI. It wasn't until 15 years later that the NEWMAC would expand beyond its founding 10 members, as Emerson College became the 11th core member of the conference on July 1, 2013.
Located in Boston, Emerson fit well into the NEWMAC geographically, while its highly regarded academic programs met the academic excellence that was the expectation for NEWMAC institutions. Emerson's commitment to academic and athletic success aligned with the NEWMAC's mission, and a unanimous vote from the NEWMAC Presidents' Council brought the Lions on board for their first year of competition in the 2013-2014 season."
"Emerson's acceptance into the NEWMAC was an initial step to strategically commit to grow sports sponsorship, increase NCAA AQ opportunities and increase services to the membership" expresses NEWMAC Executive Director, Patrick B. Summers. "The direct result of adding Emerson set in motion strategic plans, adding sports and shifting the philosophy of the conference to focus on preeminence while holding true to our core values and championing academic and athletic excellence of our student-athletes."
Since joining the NEWMAC, Emerson has committed to the growth of their athletic department, including facility improvements and increasing the number of full-time coaches and staff. This commitment culminated in the school's first NEWMAC title in 2019, as the men's basketball program took home the NEWMAC crown, followed by most recently the women's soccer program earning the 2022 NEWMAC title.
2013-2014 not only brought a new core member to the conference but also the ability to expand its sports sponsorship by adding men's lacrosse in the 2014 season which included core members: Babson College, Clark University, Emerson College, MIT, Springfield College, U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Wheaton College. With the addition of men's lacrosse, the conference expanded its total sports sponsorship to 19 becoming the first new sport added to the membership since the inception in 1998.
NEWMAC men's lacrosse has become one of the most competitive conferences in the country highlighted by Springfield College who has claimed six conference titles since 2014 under the guidance of head coach Keith Bugbee who enters his 40th season at the helm in 2022-23.
About the NEWMAC
The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference is an association of 11 selective academic institutions: Babson College, Clark University, U.S Coast Guard Academy, Emerson College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Springfield College, Wellesley College, Wheaton College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, that are committed to providing high quality competitive athletic opportunities for student-athletes within an educational and respectful environment that embodies the NCAA Division III Philosophy. The conference also partners with five Associate Members: Catholic University of America (Football), Norwich University (Football), Simmons College (Rowing), and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Football), while sponsoring 20 sports. Salve Regina University will become the conferences 12th core member effective June 1, 2023, while N.Y. Maritime will be joining as an Associate Member in football.