Stevenson, Hood to Join the MAC in July 2012

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FREDERICK, Md.-Hood College has accepted an invitation to join the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC) for all 20 varsity sports effective July 1, 2012.

The MAC sponsors 23 conference sports that include student-athletes from 16 schools spanning two divisions-the Commonwealth Conference and the Freedom Conference. As a member of the Commonwealth Conference, Hood will compete against Albright College, Alvernia University, Arcadia University, Elizabethtown College, Lebanon Valley College, Lycoming College, Messiah College and Widener University in the team sports of basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. The individual sports, such as cross country, golf, swimming and track and field, will compete against both the Commonwealth Conference schools as well as the Freedom Conference schools. The Freedom Conference is comprised of Delaware Valley College, DeSales University, Eastern University, Fairleigh Dickinson University - College at Florham, King's College, Manhattanville College, Misericordia University and Wilkes University.

Hood will benefit from membership in the conference at several levels, according to President Ronald J. Volpe. "I am thrilled to enter into this new partnership with the MAC, a conference comprised of reputable, private institutions with established traditions of excellence in the areas of academics and athletics. Hood's student-athletes will have the opportunity to continue to hone their skills against programs whose athletic credentials and academic standards are comparable to the liberal arts values we emphasize here at Hood."

Hood, which has been a member of the Capital Athletic Conference since December 2005, will compete in that conference for the 2011-12 academic year.

Founded in 1912, the MAC will now have representation in four states Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

"Hood will not only strengthen our conference as one of the best Division III conferences in the country but improve our regional exposure in the south. Hood's presidential leadership, sport sponsorship, athletic facilities, competitive prowess, and academic reputation mesh well with our 16 current members," said Ken Andrews, MAC's executive director.

"Most importantly, we share similar values about the role of intercollegiate athletics as a component of the educational experience for our students. I look forward to working with Hood's staff and administration as they make the transition to our conferences over the next year."

"I am very pleased that Hood College is joining the MAC," said Steve MacDonald, Lebanon Valley College President and Chair of the MAC presidents. "Hood is an institution with a strong academic tradition and athletic programs that complement these traditions in ways that embody the ideals of Division III athletics. This school will strengthen the MAC and we're delighted to have them as our partners."

Hood's fellow CAC rival Stevenson University has also accepted an invitation to join the MAC, which is the only "umbrella" conference structure in the United States. Hood and Stevenson will be the 56th and 57th schools to become members of the MAC throughout the 100-year history of the conference.

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