LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – In an announcement made today at league headquarters, Johnson & Wales University (Denver) has accepted membership into the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), becoming the ninth member of the NCAA Division III league.
Currently affiliated as an independent member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Johnson & Wales Denver was accepted as an exploratory membership in NCAA Division III for the 2017-18 academic year in an announcement made last Tuesday.
“This is a defining moment for our growing and thriving JWU Wildcat Athletics,” said JWU Denver Campus President Richard Wiscott. “Our student-athletes, coaches and staff have worked incredibly hard for the opportunity to compete at the NCAA level and we’re honored to be recognized as the newest member of the SCAC.”
Upon completion of the exploratory year in 2017-18, Johnson & Wales Denver will start working toward NCAA provisional membership for the 2018-19 academic year as a member of the SCAC.
Johnson & Wales Denver currently has 12 varsity programs and approximately 160 student-athletes. Men’s intercollegiate teams include basketball, cross country, soccer, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. Women’s intercollegiate teams include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and volleyball.
With acceptance as a SCAC member, J&W Denver will actively explore adding men’s and women’s golf teams as well as transition its club-level men’s lacrosse program to varsity status.
“We are pleased to welcome Johnson & Wales University Denver to the SCAC family,” said University of Dallas President Thomas Keefe, chair of the SCAC Board of Directors. “On our site visit, we were very impressed with the excitement and the energy level of the administration, the coaches and the student-athletes. The Denver campus is a growing and vibrantly active community.”
"The addition of Johnson & Wales Denver is a move that strengthens the conference as having another member in the Colorado footprint is logistically sound,” said SCAC commissioner Dwayne Hanberry.
Hanberry also made it clear that the league plans to continue seeking additional core members.
“Based on our current scheduling models, we know the league works best with an even number of members. We will continue to pursue opportunities to grow the SCAC with quality institutions who subscribe to our core purpose of providing the best transformational athletic experiences for our students.”
JWU Denver Wildcat Athletics has been growing at the Denver Campus since it opened its doors in 2000. Most recently, the university appointed Tom Byrnes, former Commissioner of the Capital Athletic Conference within NCAA Division III, as its Director of Athletics.
Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with approximately 16,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, RI; North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, NC. The Denver campus, which was established in 2000 as the western anchor to JWU, currently has 1,388 students from 13 countries and 52 states and territories.
An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, education, nutrition, hospitality, physician assistant studies, engineering and design. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal growth.
The university’s impact is global, with 100,000+ alumni from 155 countries pursuing careers worldwide.
SOUTHERN COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
AT A GLANCE
The SCAC, originally known as the College Athletic Conference (CAC) upon its formation in 1962, is comprised of some of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges and universities in the nation.
The SCAC was formed to provide an association through which the member institutions may encourage organized competition in intercollegiate sports among teams representative of their respective student bodies. Members of this conference share a commitment to priority of the overall quality of academic standards and quality educational experiences.
SCAC member institutions are committed to sponsoring a variety of varsity sports to maximize opportunities for student participation. SCAC schools also operate under the principle that participation in sports should be solely from student interest and enjoyment of athletic competition, and that no financial aid shall be given to any student which is conditional upon athletic ability or participation in intercollegiate sports.
SCAC member institutions support students in their efforts to reach high levels of performance by providing them with adequate facilities, competent coaching and appropriate competitive opportunities with students from similar institutions.
CURRENT MEMBERSHIP (First year of participation)
Trinity University – San Antonio, Texas (1989)
Southwestern University – Georgetown, Texas (1994)
Austin College – Sherman, Texas (2006)
Colorado College – Colorado Springs, Colo. (2006)
University of Dallas – Irving, Texas (2011)
Centenary College – Shreveport, La. (2012)
Schreiner University – Kerrville, Texas (2013)
Texas Lutheran University – Seguin, Texas (2013)
Johnson & Wales University – Denver, Colo. (2018)