Presidents' Athletic Conference

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Presidents' Athletic Conference
Presidents' Athletic Conference logo
DivisionDivision III
Members9 (10 in 2020)
Sports fielded
  • 23
    • men's: 12
    • women's: 11
HeadquartersWexford, Pennsylvania
CommissionerJoe Onderko (since 2006)
Presidents' Athletic Conference locations

The Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) is an athletic conference which competes in the NCAA's Division III. Of its nine current member schools, all private, liberal arts institutions of higher learning, eight are located in Western Pennsylvania, with the other in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia, an area adjoining and historically tied to Western Pennsylvania. The conference's footprint will expand slightly into Appalachian Ohio in 2020.


The PAC was founded in 1955 by the presidents of Western Reserve University (1955–1967, operating athletically as Adelbert College from 1967 to 1970), Case Institute of Technology (1955–1970), John Carroll University (1955–1988) and Wayne State University (1955–1967).[1] Unlike other conferences at that time, the PAC was designed to be controlled by the presidents of the institutions rather than the athletic directors.[1] Member institutions were to admit athletes on the same academic standards as other students and award scholarships only based on academic achievement or need.[1]

By 1958, the PAC expanded east to include Allegheny College (1958–1984), Bethany College (1958–present), Thiel College (1958–present) and Washington & Jefferson College (1958–present).[1] Eventually, many other member institutions joined the PAC, like Chatham University (2007–present), Geneva College (2007–present), Grove City College (1984–present), Saint Vincent College (2006–present), Thomas More College (2005–2018), Waynesburg University (1990–present) and Westminster College (2000–present).[2]

Some former PAC member institutions include Alfred University (1996–1998), Carnegie Mellon University (1968–1989), Eastern Michigan University (1962–1967) and Hiram College (1972–1989).[2] On May 31, 2017, Thomas More College, now designated as a "University", announced its withdrawal from the PAC at the conclusion of the 2017–18 school year.[3]

The most recent change to the PAC membership was announced in April 2019. Franciscan University, which had joined the PAC as an associate member in the newly launched conference sports of men's and women's lacrosse for the 2018–19 school year, was unveiled as the effective replacement for Thomas More. Franciscan added five sports to its PAC membership for 2019–20—women's golf, men's and women's indoor track & field, and men's and women's outdoor track & field, and will become a full conference member in 2020–21.[4]

The headquarters is located in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.[5]

Membership evolution[2][edit]

  • 1955 – Charter members Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, and Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, along with Wayne State University in Detroit, come together to form the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC).
  • 1958 – The PAC adds four additional members - Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.; Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.; Thiel College in Greenville, Pa.; and Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa., bringing the total number of conference members to eight.
  • 1962 – The PAC accepted the University of Ypsilanti (Eastern Michigan) as its ninth member.
  • 1966 – Wayne State and Eastern Michigan withdrew from the PAC following the 1966–67 academic year, leaving the conference with seven members.
  • 1967 – Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University federated into a new institution known as Case Western Reserve University. The undergraduate student bodies remained separate, however, and both Case Tech and Adelbert College (the male undergraduate school of the former Western Reserve University) continued to field separate teams.
  • 1968 – Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh is accepted into the PAC.
  • 1970 – Case Western Reserve University begins to compete as one program, no longer fielding teams as Case Tech and Adelbert.
  • 1972 – Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio is accepted into the PAC.
  • 1983 – Allegheny College and Case Western Reserve University leave the PAC following the 1983–84 academic year.
  • 1984 – Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., is accepted into the PAC.
  • 1984–85 – The PAC sponsors women's athletic championships for the first time.
  • 1988 – John Carroll University leaves the PAC.
  • 1989 – Carnegie Mellon University and Hiram College leave the PAC.
  • 1990 – Waynesburg College (now University) in Waynesburg, Pa., is accepted into the PAC.
  • 1996 – Alfred College in Alfred, N.Y., is accepted into the PAC.
  • 1998 – Alfred College leaves the PAC.
  • 2000 – Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., is accepted into the PAC.
  • 2005 – Thomas More College (now University) in Crestview Hills, Ky., is accepted into the PAC.
  • 2006 – Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., is accepted into the PAC
  • 2007 – Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., and Chatham University in Pittsburgh are both accepted into the PAC, bringing the conference to 10 full-time members.
  • 2011 – Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Case Western Reserve in Cleveland are both admitted to the PAC as affiliate members in the sport of football beginning in the 2014–15 academic year.
  • 2018
  • 2019 – Franciscan added women's golf plus indoor and outdoor track & field for both men and women to its PAC membership.
  • 2020 – Franciscan will become a full PAC member.

Member schools[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location Nickname Founded Enrollment Joined Colors
Bethany College Bethany, West Virginia Bison 1840 1,030 1958          
Chatham University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Cougars 1869 2,300 2007          
Geneva College Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania Golden Tornadoes 1848 1,791 2007          
Grove City College Grove City, Pennsylvania Wolverines 1876 2,500 1984          
Saint Vincent College Latrobe, Pennsylvania Bearcats 1846 1,652 2006          
Thiel College Greenville, Pennsylvania Tomcats 1866 1,066 1958          
Washington & Jefferson College Washington, Pennsylvania Presidents 1781 1,519 1958          
Waynesburg University Waynesburg, Pennsylvania Yellow Jackets 1849 1,500 1990          
Westminster College New Wilmington, Pennsylvania Titans 1852 1,482 2000          

Future member[edit]

Institution Location Nickname Founded Enrollment Joining Colors
Franciscan University of Steubenville Steubenville, Ohio Barons 1946 2,716 2020          

Associate members[edit]

The PAC currently has three associate members, two of which play only football in the league and the other playing seven sports in the conference. The 2014 season was the first for both football schools.[6] The third and newest associate member, Franciscan, first joined for men's and women's lacrosse in 2018, added five sports to its PAC membership in 2019, and will become a full PAC member in 2020.

Institution Location Nickname Founded Enrollment Joined Primary Conference PAC Sport(s)
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Tartans 1900 6,362 2014–15 UAA football
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio Spartans 1826 5,150 2014–15 UAA football
Franciscan University of Steubenville Steubenville, Ohio Barons 1946 2,716 2018–19 (lacrosse)
2019–20 (golf, track)
AMCC men's and women's lacrosse
women's golf
men's and women's indoor track
men's and women's outdoor track

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Nickname Founded Enrollment Joined Left Current Conference
Allegheny College Meadville, Pennsylvania Gators 1815 2,100 1958 1984 NCAC
Alfred University Alfred, New York Saxons 1836 2,300 1996 1998 Empire 8
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Tartans 1900 6,170 1968 1989 UAA
Case Institute of Technology Cleveland, Ohio Rough Riders 1880 n/a 1955 1970 n/a[fm 1]
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio Spartans 1967 5,121 1970 1984 UAA
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, Michigan Eagles 1849 22,974 1962 1967 MAC
(NCAA Division I)
Hiram College Hiram, Ohio Terriers 1850 1,271 1972 1989 NCAC
John Carroll University University Heights, Ohio Blue Streaks 1886 3,726 1955 1988 OAC
Thomas More University[fm 2] Crestview Hills, Kentucky Saints 1921 1,900 2005 2018 ACAA
(Mid-South, NAIA in 2019)
Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan Tartars[fm 3] 1868 32,564 1955 1967 GLIAC
(NCAA Division II)
Western Reserve University[fm 4] Cleveland, Ohio Red Cats 1826 n/a 1955 1970 n/a[fm 1]


  1. ^ a b Case Tech and Western Reserve University merged in 1967, but the athletic programs continued to operate separately through the 1969–70 school year.
  2. ^ Thomas More was known as Thomas More College throughout its PAC tenure. It adopted its current name in October 2018, shortly after leaving the PAC.
  3. ^ Wayne State joined the conference as Wayne University. It adopted its current name in 1956 and its current nickname of Warriors in 1999.
  4. ^ During the first three years after the Case Western Reserve merger (1967–1970), when Case Tech and Western Reserve continued to operate separate athletic programs, Western Reserve used the athletic identity of its former undergraduate arm, Adelbert College.

Membership timeline[edit]

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Conference sports
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Cross country
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Swimming & diving
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Track & field (indoor)
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Track & field (outdoor)
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  1. ^ a b c d E. Lee, North (1991). "Chapter 14: The Frustrating Fifties". Battling the Indians, Panthers, and Nittany Lions: The Story of Washington & Jefferson College's First Century of Football, 1890-1990. Daring Books. pp. 161–168. ISBN 978-1-878302-03-8. OCLC 24174022.
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ "Thomas More to Withdraw from PAC" (Press release). Thomas More Saints. May 31, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  4. ^ "PAC adds Franciscan as full member" (Press release). Presidents' Athletic Conference. April 16, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Presidents' Athletic Conference at Wikimedia Commons