(Posted June 12, 2006)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College and six other institutions are now members of the Landmark Conference, which will be the name of the new NCAA Division III athletic association formed last December by seven like-minded colleges and universities in the eastern United States, conference athletic directors announced at their inaugural meeting on June 9.

The members of the Landmark Conference are the Catholic University of America, of Washington, D.C.; Drew University of Madison, N.J.; Goucher College of Baltimore, Md.; Juniata College of Huntingdon, Pa.; Moravian College of Bethlehem, Pa.; Susquehanna University of Selinsgrove, Pa.; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy of King's Point, N.Y.

Juniata College President Thomas R. Kepple was named chair of the Landmark Conference.
The most literal inspiration for the Landmark Conference's name came from the many well-known physical landmarks of the Mid-Atlantic region encompassed by the conference.

The name also reflects the significance of the institutions' decision to align themselves with other colleges and universities of similar size, educational philosophies, and high academic standards. It highlights the Landmark Conference's intention to stand out not only in athletics, but also in academics, emphasizing educational achievement and the important role athletics plays as part of the undergraduate experience and as a defining characteristic of the member institutions.

"Our entire campus community is excited to be part of a new athletic conference that will lay the groundwork for landmark achievements for not only every athlete in the conference, but also every student," Kepple says. "The Landmark Conference gives us the opportunity to not only compete on playing fields, but also opens up opportunities for collaboration in research, education, professional development and in other areas. We are looking forward to expanding Juniata's name and our athletic and academic reputation beyond our traditional recruiting areas."

Demonstrating the Landmark Conference's dedication to helping student-athletes balance their obligations and excel across disciplines, conference leaders have already decided to hold long-distance games only on weekends, minimizing the time student-athletes will have to spend away from class.

In addition to competing on the playing field, members of the new conference will explore ways to develop and expand curricular and co-curricular relationships among their faculty members, administrators, coaches, and students.

The members of the Landmark Conference will compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, indoor and outdoor track and field, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.

The conference will begin competition in fall 2007. Teams from the seven colleges and universities will continue to participate in their current conferences through spring 2007. An eighth member institution -- and a commissioner for the Landmark Conference -- are expected to be announced by the end of the summer.

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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.