Centennial Conference

The Centennial Conference is an athletic conference which competes in the NCAA's Division III. Member teams are located in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Centennial Conference
AssociationNCAA
Founded1981
CommissionerPortia Hoeg[1]
Sports fielded
  • 24
    • men's: 12
    • women's: 12
DivisionDivision III
No. of teams11
HeadquartersLancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.
RegionMid-Atlantic
Official websitecentennial.org
Locations

Eleven private colleges compose the Centennial Conference. Five of ten members of the Centennial Conference rank among the top 50 national liberal arts colleges and Johns Hopkins University is ranked seventh among national universities.

On average, Centennial members sponsor 19 varsity teams. Conference members have won seventeen NCAA team titles: Johns Hopkins women's cross country (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021), Gettysburg women's lacrosse (2011, 2017, 2018), Haverford men's cross country (2010), Franklin & Marshall women's lacrosse (2007, 2009), Ursinus field hockey (2006), Washington men's lacrosse (1998), and Washington men's tennis (1994, 1997).

History

Centennial Conference
Location of Centennial members: full, affiliate, affiliate departing

According to the Centennial Conference's web site: "On June 4, 1981, Keith Spalding, then-president of Franklin & Marshall College, made the announcement that "eight private colleges found it timely and appropriate to form a round-robin football schedule among institutions with similar attitudes and practices in intercollegiate football competition." With that statement, the Centennial Conference was born. Those private colleges were Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Johns Hopkins University, Muhlenberg College, Swarthmore College, Ursinus College, and Western Maryland College (later renamed and now known as McDaniel College).

The conference moved from a football-only conference to an all-sports conference after a 1991 feasibility study. The study also recommended to expand from eight schools to eleven. The other schools recommended were Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, and Washington College. Those three schools accepted and became charter members in 1992 as the conference expanded its sports offerings.

All of the charter members defected from the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). Johns Hopkins and McDaniel College both played in the Mason-Dixon Conference prior to entering the MAC in 1975.

Chronological timeline

  • 1981 - On June 4, 1981, the Centennial Conference was founded as a football-only league, then known as the Centennial Football Conference. Charter members included Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Johns Hopkins University, Muhlenberg College, Swarthmore College, Ursinus College, and Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College).
  • 1992 - The Centennial Football Conference became the Centennial Conference when the conference expanded to add other sports, effective in the 1992-93 academic year. Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College and Washington College also joined the newly-formed all-sports conference.
  • 1998 - Washington and Lee University joined the Centennial as an affiliate member for men's wrestling, effective in the 1998-99 academic year.
  • 2001 - Johns Hopkins left the University Athletic Association (UAA) to fully align with the Centennial Conference for all the sports being sponsored, effective in the 2001-02 academic year.
  • 2004 - The United States Merchant Marine Academy (Merchant Marine) and Stevens Institute of Technology (Stevens or Stevens Tech) joined the Centennial as affiliate members for men's wrestling, effective in the 2004-05 academic year.
  • 2007 - Juniata College and Moravian College joined the Centennial as affiliate members for football, effective in the 2007 fall season (2007-08 academic year).
  • 2010 - Susquehanna University joined the Centennial as an affiliate member for football and women's golf, effective in the 2010-11 academic year.
  • 2012 - New York University joined the Centennial as an affiliate member for men's wrestling, effective in the 2012-13 academic year.
  • 2016 - NYU left the Centennial as an affiliate member for wrestling, effective after the 2015-16 academic year.
  • 2017 - Susquehanna left the Centennial as an affiliate member for women's golf, effective after the 2017 spring season (2016-17 academic year).
  • 2017 - Marymount University and Neumann University joined the Centennial as affiliate members for women's golf, effective in the 2018 spring season (2017-18 academic year).
  • 2019 - Two institutions left the Centennial as affiliate members: Neumann for women's golf and Stevens for men's wrestling, effective after the 2018-19 academic year.
  • 2019 - Cabrini University joined the Centennial as an affiliate member for women's golf to replace Neumann's spot, effective in the 2020 spring season (2019-20 academic year).
  • 2023 - Football affiliates Juniata, Moravian and Susquehanna will depart for the new football league started in the Landmark Conference, effective after the 2022 fall season (2022-23 academic year).[2]

Member schools

Current members

The Centennial currently has 11 full members, all are private schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Acceptance
Rate
Nickname Joined Football
Bryn Mawr College[lower-alpha 1] Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 1885 Nonsectarian 1,381 38% [3] Owls 1992–93 No
Dickinson College Carlisle, Pennsylvania 1783 Nonsectarian 2,420 35% [4] Red Devils 1981–82 Yes
Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1787 Nonsectarian 2,255 35% [5] Diplomats 1981–82 Yes
Gettysburg College Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 1832 Lutheran ELCA 2,384 56% [6] Bullets 1981–82 Yes
Haverford College Haverford, Pennsylvania 1833 Nonsectarian 1,268 17.8% [7] Fords 1992–93 No
Johns Hopkins University[lower-alpha 2] Baltimore, Maryland 1876 Nonsectarian 20,174 6.5%[8] Blue Jays 1981–82 Yes
McDaniel College Westminster, Maryland 1867 Nonsectarian 1,559 70% [9] Green Terror 1981–82 Yes
Muhlenberg College Allentown, Pennsylvania 1848 Lutheran ELCA 2,408 68% [10] Mules 1981–82 Yes
Swarthmore College Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 1864 Nonsectarian 1,543 8% [11] Garnet 1981–82 No
Ursinus College Collegeville, Pennsylvania 1869 Secular 1,556 80% Bears 1981–82 Yes
Washington College Chestertown, Maryland 1782 Nonsectarian 1,479 92% [12] Shoremen (men's)
Shorewomen (women's)
1992–93 No

Critcism of Johns Hopkins as a member of the Centennial Conference

In April 2022, an opinion piece was published by Dickinson College’s student newspaper,[13] The Dickinsonian, that criticized Johns Hopkins’ membership in the Centennial Conference, specifically concerning Johns Hopkins' Men's and Women's Track and Field teams. The article referenced how outside of Johns Hopkins, the other member schools (Dickinson, Bryn Mawr, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, McDaniel, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, and Ursinus) all have enrollments that do not exceed 3,000 students. The article then references Johns Hopkins' enrollment of over 6,000 students, speaking on how it is unfair to the other schools, as it gives the school twice the amount of student-athletes that the other member schools have. The article also comments on how similarly sized institutions to John Hopkins have significantly more funding to spend on high-quality training equipment than all other Centennial Conference members. The article correlates the discrepancies in enrollment and funding between Johns Hopkins and all other Centennial Conference member institutions to Johns Hopkins’ dominance in Men's and Women's track and field. Before Ursinus College won the 2022 Centennial Conference Men's Track and Field Championship,[14] Johns Hopkins Men’s and Women’s track and field won the indoor and outdoor track and field centennial conference championship 11 years in a row. The article concludes by contending that Johns Hopkins Men's and Women's Track and Field should become an NCAA Division 1 program, allowing them to compete against teams similarly skilled to them.

Notes
  1. This institution is a women's college, therefore it does not sponsor men's teams.
  2. Johns Hopkins had dual athletic conference membership with the University Athletic Association from 1992–93 to 2000–01, then the Blue Jays left the UAA in order to fully align with the Centennial Conference. Additionally, its men's and women's lacrosse teams do not play in the Centennial Conference, but instead play as Division I teams in the Big Ten Conference.

Affiliate members

The Centennial currently has seven affiliate members, all but one are private schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Primary
conference
Centennial
sport
Cabrini University Radnor, Pennsylvania 1957 Catholic
(Missionary Sisters)
1,759 Cavaliers 2019–20 Atlantic East (AEC) women's golf
Juniata College Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 1876 Church of the Brethren 1,568 Eagles 2007–08 Landmark football
Marymount University Arlington, Virginia 1950 Catholic
(RSHM)
3,684 Saints 2017–18 Atlantic East (AEC) women's golf
United States Merchant Marine Academy
(Merchant Marine)
Kings Point, New York 1943 Federal 1,011 Mariners 2004–05 Skyline wrestling
Moravian University Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 1742 Moravian 1,568 Greyhounds 2007–08 Landmark football
Susquehanna University Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania 1858 Lutheran ELCA 2,195 River Hawks 2010–11 Landmark football[lower-alpha 1]
Washington and Lee University Lexington, Virginia 1749 Nonsectarian 1,830 Generals 1998–99 Old Dominion (ODAC) wrestling
Notes

In April 2022, an opinion piece was published by Dickinson College’s student newspaper,[13] The Dickinsonian, that criticized Johns Hopkins’ membership in the Centennial Conference, specifically concerning Johns Hopkins' Men's and Women's Track and Field teams. The article referenced how outside of Johns Hopkins, the other member schools (Dickinson, Bryn Mawr, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, Haverford, McDaniel, Muhlenberg, Swarthmore, and Ursinus) all have enrollments that do not exceed 3,000 students. The article then references Johns Hopkins' enrollment of over 6,000 students, speaking on how it is unfair to the other schools, as it gives the school twice the amount of student-athletes that the other member schools have. The article also comments on how similarly sized institutions to John Hopkins have significantly more funding to spend on high-quality training equipment than all other Centennial Conference members. The article correlates the discrepancies in enrollment and funding between Johns Hopkins and all other Centennial Conference member institutions to Johns Hopkins’ dominance in Men's and Women's track and field. Before Ursinus College won the 2022 Centennial Conference Men's Track and Field Championship,[14] Johns Hopkins Men’s and Women’s track and field won the indoor and outdoor track and field centennial conference championship 11 years in a row. The article concludes by contending that Johns Hopkins Men's and Women's Track and Field should become an NCAA Division 1 program, allowing them to compete against teams similarly skilled to them.

  1. Susquehanna competed in the Centennial as an affiliate member for women's golf from the 2011 to 2017 spring seasons (2010–11 to 2016–17 school years).

Former affiliate members

The Centennial had four former affiliate members, all were private schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Primary
conference
Centennial
sport
Neumann University Aston, Pennsylvania 1965 Catholic
(Franciscan)
3,000 Knights 2017–18 2018–19 Atlantic East (AEC) women's golf
New York University New York City 1832 Nonsectarian 22,280 Violets 2011–12 2015–16 University (UAA) wrestling
Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, New Jersey 1870 Nonsectarian 5,260 Ducks 2004–05 2018–19 MAC Freedom wrestling
Susquehanna University Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania 1858 Lutheran ELCA 2,195 River Hawks 2010–11 2016–17 Landmark women's golf[lower-alpha 1]
Notes
  1. Susquehanna remains in the Centennial as an affiliate member for football.

Membership timeline

Cabrini UniversityNeumann UniversityMarymount UniversityNew York UniversitySusquehanna UniversityMoravian CollegeJuniata CollegeStevens Institute of TechnologyUnited States Merchant Marine AcademyWashington and Lee UniversityWashington CollegeHaverford CollegeBryn Mawr CollegeUrsinus CollegeSwarthmore CollegeMuhlenberg CollegeMcDaniel CollegeJohns Hopkins UniversityGettysburg CollegeFranklin %26 Marshall CollegeDickinson College

Sports

A divisional format was used for basketball (M / W) from 1992–93 to 2002–03.
East
  • Bryn Mawr
  • Haverford
  • Muhlenberg
  • Swarthmore
  • Ursinus
  • Washington
West
  • Dickinson
  • Franklin & Marshall
  • Gettysburg
  • Johns Hopkins
  • McDaniel

The Centennial Conference sponsors championships in the following sports:

Conference sports
SportMen'sWomen's
Baseball
Y
Basketball
Y
Y
Cross Country
Y
Y
Field Hockey
Y
Football
Y
Golf
Y
Y
Lacrosse
Y
Y
Soccer
Y
Y
Softball
Y
Swimming
Y
Y
Tennis
Y
Y
Track and field (indoor)
Y
Y
Track and field (outdoor)
Y
Y
Volleyball
Y
Wrestling
Y

Men's sponsored sports by school

SchoolBaseballBasketballCross countryFootballGolfLacrosseSoccerSwimmingTennisTrack & Field
(indoor)
Track & Field
(outdoor)
WrestlingTotal
DickinsonYYYYYYYYYYYN11
Franklin
& Marshall
YYYYYYYYYYYN[upper-alpha 1]11
GettysburgYYYYYYYYYYYY12
HaverfordYYYNNYYNYYYN9
Johns HopkinsYYYYNN[upper-alpha 2]YN[upper-alpha 3]YYYY9
McDanielYYYYYYYYYYYY12
MuhlenbergYYYYYYYNYYYY11
SwarthmoreYYYNYYYYYYYN10
UrsinusYYYYYYYYYYYY12
WashingtonYYNNNYYYYNNN6
Totals101097+37910710995+2104+5
JuniataY1
Merchant MarineY1
MoravianY1
SusquehannaY1
Washington & LeeY1
Notes
  1. Franklin & Marshall sponsors men's wrestling, however, the team does not compete in the Centennial Conference, but instead competes as a Division I team in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association.
  2. Johns Hopkins sponsors men's lacrosse, however, the team does not compete in the Centennial Conference, but instead competes as a Division I team in the Big Ten Conference.
  3. Johns Hopkins sponsors men's swimming, however, the team is yet to attend a conference championship. They were a member of the Bluegrass Mountain Conference, a Division II swimming conference, from the 2009-10 season until the 2015-16 season, the team now functions as a swimming independent.

Men's varsity sports not sponsored by the Centennial Conference that are played by Landmark schools

SchoolFencingRowingSailingSquashTrap & SkeetWater Polo
DickinsonNNNMASCNN
Franklin & MarshallNMARCNMASCNN
HaverfordMACFANNCSANN
Johns HopkinsMACFANNNNMAWPC
WashingtonNMARCMAISANACUIN

Women's sponsored sports by school

SchoolBasketballCross countryField
Hockey
GolfLacrosseSoccerSoftballSwimmingTennisTrack & Field
(indoor)
Track & Field
(outdoor)
VolleyballTotal
Bryn MawrYYYNYYNYYYYY10
DickinsonYYYYYYYYYYYY12
Franklin
& Marshall
YYYYYYYYYYYY12
GettysburgYYYYYYYYYYYY12
HaverfordYYYNYYYNYYYY10
Johns HopkinsYYYNN[upper-alpha 1]YNN[upper-alpha 2]YYYY8
McDanielYYYYYYYYYYYY12
MuhlenbergYYYYYYYNYYYY11
SwarthmoreYYYNYYYYYYYY11
UrsinusYYYYYYYYYYYY12
WashingtonYNYNYYYYYNNY8
Totals1110116+210119811101011118+2
CabriniY1
MarymountY1
Notes
  1. Johns Hopkins sponsors women's lacrosse, however, the team does not play in the Centennial Conference, but instead play as Division I teams in the Big Ten Conference.
  2. Johns Hopkins sponsors women's swimming, however, the team is yet to attend a conference championship. They were a member of the Bluegrass Mountain Conference, a Division II swimming conference, from the 2009-10 season until the 2015-16 season, the team now functions as a swimming independent.

Women's varsity sports not sponsored by the Centennial Conference that are played by Landmark schools

SchoolBadmintonFencingGymnasticsRowingSailingSquashTrap & Skeet
Bryn MawrIndependentNNNNN
DickinsonNNNNNMASCN
Franklin & MarshallNNNMARCNMASCN
HaverfordNMACFANNNCSAN
Johns HopkinsNMACFANNNNN
SwarthmoreIndependentNNNNNN
UrsinusNNNCGANNNN
WashingtonNNNMARCMAISANACUI

Current champions

Season Sport Women's Champion Men's Champion
Fall 2021 Cross Country Johns Hopkins (X14) Haverford (X1)
Field Hockey Johns Hopkins (X3)
Football Muhlenberg & Johns Hopkins (X1)
Soccer McDaniel (X1) Washington (X2)
Volleyball Johns Hopkins (X5)
Winter 2021-22 Basketball Gettysburg (X1) Johns Hopkins (X1)
Swimming Swarthmore (X1) Swarthmore (X1)
Indoor Track & Field Johns Hopkins (X11) Johns Hopkins (X8)
Wrestling Washington & Lee (X2)
Spring 2022 Baseball Swarthmore (X1)
Golf Marymount (X2) Franklin and Marshall (X1)
Lacrosse Gettysburg (X3) Dickinson (X1)
Softball Muhlenberg (X1)
Tennis Johns Hopkins (X15) Johns Hopkins (X16)
Outdoor Track and Field Johns Hopkins (X12) Ursinus (X1)

See also

  • Centennial Conference football
  • Centennial Conference men's basketball tournament

References

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