Monday, September 26, 2005

Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) to Add Geneva College as Ninth Member

FOR RELEASE: September 26, 2005

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) has announced the addition of Geneva College of Beaver Falls, Pa., as the ninth member of the conference. The members of the PAC Presidents' Council voted unanimously to accept Geneva's application for membership during a conference call this afternoon.

"We are very excited to accept Geneva College, a school with a mission, history and identity very similar to the current PAC member institutions, as the newest member of the Presidents' Athletic Conference. Geneva certainly has all of the qualities we were looking for in a conference member," said Waynesburg President and PAC Presidents Council Chair Timothy Thyreen. "This addition continues a period of unprecedented growth for the PAC. Many fine colleges have applied for conference membership in recent years, but we were waiting for the right schools to expand."

Geneva, which is currently a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), is currently completing an exploratory year as a member of NCAA Division III in 2005-06 and is tentatively scheduled to begin a four-year provisional membership period in Division III no earlier than the 2007-08 academic year, when PAC schools will begin scheduling the Golden Tornadoes in all sports. Geneva willl be eligible for PAC championships upon its acceptance as a full member in NCAA Division III, currently scheduled for no earlier than the 2011-12 academic year.

""Geneva College has been considering a move to NCAA Division III for a long time. The switch makes sense on at least two levels. First, moving to the Presidents' Athletic Conference is in Geneva's best interest because it means we will compete against institutions with a similar mission and commitment to athletics. Second, it allows us to bring back the historic rivalries that have always excited Geneva's fans and alumni," said Geneva President Dr. Kenneth A. Smith.

Geneva is the the third institution to join the PAC in 2005. In April, the conference welcomed Thomas More College of Crestview Hills, Ky., (formerly an NCAA Division III independent) as the league's seventh member. Saint Vincent College, an NAIA school in Latrobe, Pa., was accepted for PAC membership as the league's eighth member in July and will begin playing a full conference schedule in the 2006-07 academic year. The other conference members are: Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.; Grove City College in Grove City, Pa.; Thiel College in Greenville, Pa.; Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa.; Waynesburg College in Waynesburg, Pa.; and Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa.

"The addition of Geneva College to the Presidents' Athletic Conference gives me a warm feeling inside," said Waynesburg Director of Athletics and PAC Athletic Directors' Council Chair Rudy Marisa. "Several current PAC schools had strong rivalries with the Golden Tornadoes for years as members of the NAIA. I am extremely pleased to have them join our league and renew those rivalries."

Geneva currently fields 13 intercollegiate athletic teams (six men, seven women), all in sports sponsored by the PAC. Men's teams include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, soccer and track & field. Women's teams include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.

"This is clearly the beginning of a new era for Geneva athletics. We have competed against most of the PAC schools for over 100 years and it just seems like a natural fit for our athletic program to be joining this conference," said Geneva College Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach Geno DeMarco. "It's a great day for college sports fans in Western Pennsylvania. We are very optimistic about what lies ahead for Geneva College and the Golden Tornadoes."

Founded in 1955, the Presidents' Athletic Conference continues its mission of promoting intercollegiate athletics and the pursuit of academic excellence. The PAC remains a unique organization in this day of high pressure intercollegiate athletics. With academics at the center of each member's philosophy, the PAC is built on the principle that an athletic program is a part of college life, but not an entity in itself.

The PAC annually crowns champions in 19 sports (10 men, nine women). In 2004-05, the conference had 18 teams represent the conference in postseason play, including 12 in NCAA championship events. The conference is scheduled to receive automatic qualification (AQ) status for NCAA championships in the 2007-08 academic year.


Joe Onderko
Sports Information Director
Westminster College/Presidents' Athletic Conference
102 Old Main, 319 S. Market Street
New Wilmington, PA 16172-0001
P-(724) 946-6357