Thomasville, NC, June 1, 2007 - The Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference has officially changed its name to Conference Carolinas while adding Converse College as a full member to the league. The announcement was confirmed at the annual league meetings held at host institution Belmont Abbey College Wednesday and Thursday.
The name change announcement was initially made by in January by Dr. Alan Patterson, Conference Commissioner, and Dr. James Dawson, President of Coker College & Conference Executive Committee Chair so that all steps could be taken to insure official change over to take effect on June 1, 2007. With the name change, league officials voted unanimously to approve Converse College as full members into the league and move away from their previous affiliate league membership they had held for the past two years.
Membership in the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas will move to 12 schools with the full inclusion of previous affiliate member Converse College. Members now include: Anderson University (Anderson, SC); Barton College (Wilson, NC); Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, NC); Coker College (Hartsville, SC); Converse College (Spartanburg, SC); Erskine College (Due West, SC); Lees-McRae College (Banner Elk, NC); Limestone College (Gaffney, SC); Mount Olive College (Mount Olive, NC); Pfeiffer University (Misenheimer, NC); Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC); and St. Andrews Presbyterian College (Laurinburg, NC).
Commissioner Alan Patterson states, "Converse College has been a tremendous asset to our league and bringing them into Conference Carolinas as a full member is ideal. Not only did it work well with our name transition, but Converse has fit into our league so well and they will continue to add to our conference and build on the successful history that our members represent."
"Three primary reasons prompted our name change," stated Commissioner Alan Patterson. "Current members all reside in the Carolinas, the states of North and South Carolina have a highly favorable perception nationwide, and the historical and current success of collegiate athletics in the Carolinas is well known."
The name change also comes from a historical perspective when, before the CVAC, the conference was the Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAC) but commonly known less formerly as the Carolinas Conference. The selection of Conference Carolinas connects the respected Carolinas Conference to a new identity. Past, present, and future members will share a rich heritage and bright future.
The new Conference Carolinas logo is a simple but sleek design. The logo includes the colors in the flags of North and South Carolina. The "sun" reflects the uniqueness of the states from a coastal sunrise to a mountain sunset. The phrase "CONFERENCE CAROLINAS" appears in red and blue in the bottom portion of the logo. There will also be secondary logos for each of the conferences 15 sponsored championship sports. The logos 'speed lines' will be utilized to enhance each of these individual logos.
History of the Conference
Conference Carolinas inherits a rich tradition in roots that date back to its early initial inception on December 6th, 1930. The conference was formed then as an athletic association "for the greater advantage of the small colleges in North Carolina". The official name given back then was the North State Intercollegiate Conference but known informally as the Old North State Conference.
The birthplace was the Washington Duke Hotel in Durham, NC and the seven charter members were Appalachian, Atlantic Christian (now Barton College), Catawba, Guilford, Elon, High Point, and Lenoir-Rhyne.
With the acceptance of the first member from South Carolina in Newberry College, a name change became necessary. Thus on May 20, 1961 the official name of the conference was changed to the Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAC) but commonly known less formerly as the Carolinas Conference.
The1993-94 academic year brought a change to the conference as dual membership was established with NAIA and NCAA Division II affiliation.
Perhaps the most significant change for the conference occurred in 1995. First, full membership into NCAA Division II was acquired and NAIA affiliation dropped. Thus, this was the first official year of full competition and championship play for the conference in NCAA DII status. Secondly, this was also the year that Longwood was included as a full member of the conference. With the first Virginia member, another name change occurred and the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference (known more universally as the 'CVAC') was born.
In 2003, Longwood University left the conference to join NCAA Division I. With this move, the state of Virginia is no longer represented within the conference and a name change to Conference Carolinas was eventually selected. Thus the 2007-2008 academic year will officially become the first year of Conference Carolinas competition.
Many institutions have been members of the league during its rich history including Anderson, Appalachian, Barton College (formerly Atlantic Christian), Belmont Abbey, Catawba, Coker, Converse, East Carolina, Erskine, Guilford, Elon, High Point, Lees-McRae, Lenoir-Rhyne, Limestone, Longwood, Mars Hill, Mount Olive, Newberry, Pembroke State, Pfeiffer, Presbyterian, Queens, St. Andrews, Western Carolina and Wingate.
Barton is the only remaining charter member followed in longevity by Pfeiffer's membership in 1960 and then Mount Olive and St. Andrews selection in 1988.
Current Membership Affiliation:
Barton (formerly Atlantic Christian) charter member- 1930
Belmont Abbey 1989
Converse 2005 (Affiliate Membership)
2007 (Full Membership)
Mount Olive 1988
St. Andrews 1988
Past Membership Affiliation:
Appalachian charter member- 1930-1971
Catawba charter member- 1930-1989
East Carolina 1947-1962
Guilford charter member- 1930-1988
Elon charter member- 1930-1989
High Point charter member- 1930-1997
Lenoir-Rhyne charter member- 1930-1974, 1985-1989
Mars Hill 1973-1975, 1987-1989
Pembroke State 1976-1992
Western Carolina 1933-1976
Conference Carolinas will sponsor the following championship sports: men's & women's cross country, men's & women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's & women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's & women's tennis, men's & women's golf, and men's & women's lacrosse.
The Conference Carolinas is a proud member of the NCAA and Division II. Division II is a dynamic and engaging group of colleges, institutions, and conferences of varying sizes and educational missions. Division II members encourage and support diversity; value sportsmanship, fairness and equity; and place the highest priority on the overall educational excellence of the student-athlete.