New England Small College Athletic Conference
|New England Small College Athletic Conference
|Sports fielded||26 (men's: 13; women's: 13)|
|Region||New England (except New Hampshire and Rhode Island) and New York State|
|Commissioner||Andrea Savage (since 1999)|
The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) is a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from eleven private liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States, often associated with the Little Ivies. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eleven schools as a group. The eleven institutions are Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Tufts University, Trinity College, Wesleyan University, and Williams College.
Many of the schools draw parallels to the academic caliber of schools in the Ivy League. The term NESCAC has connotations of academic excellence and selectivity in admissions. All eleven colleges place in the top 15% of the 2016 U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes university rankings.
The conference originated with an agreement among Amherst, Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Williams in 1955. In 1971, Bates, Colby, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, and Union College joined on and the NESCAC was officially formed. Union withdrew in 1977 and was replaced by Connecticut College in 1982. The members are grouped within the NCAA Division III athletic conference. Members of the conference have some of the largest financial endowment of any liberal arts colleges in the world, with Williams College's the highest at $2.3 billion. Undergraduate enrollment at the schools ranges from about 1,792 (Bates) to 5,200 (Tufts).
- 1 Members
- 2 History
- 3 Student life
- 4 Culture
- 5 Competition and athletics
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Colleges in the New England Small College Athletic Conference have some of the largest liberal arts financial endowments in the world, which allows the colleges to provide many resources for their academic programs and research endeavors. As of 2016, Williams College has an endowment of $2.3 billion. Additionally, each college receives millions of dollars in research grants and other subsidies from federal and state governments.
|Massachusetts||Amherst College||Mammoths[note 1]||1,817||1821|
|Maine||Bowdoin College||Polar Bears||1,805||1794|
|New York||Hamilton College||Continentals||1,864||1793|
- Amherst's unofficial mascot "Lord Jeffs" nickname was retired in 2016 due to controversy over the propriety of honoring Lord Jeffrey Amherst.
Williams began its inaugural football season in 1881 and its rivalry with Amherst College is one of the longest at any level of college football. Bates and Bowdoin have competed against each other athletically since the 1870s and subsequently share one of the ten oldest NCAA Division III football rivalries, in the United States, there is a long history of athletic competition between the two colleges and Colby. Colby began its now most notable hockey rivalry, with Bowdoin in 1922.
In 1899, Amherst, Wesleyan and Williams schools first began to compete together as the "Triangular League". Since then they have continued to play each other in most sports on a regular basis.
History of the athletic league
The conference originated with an agreement among Amherst, Bowdoin, Wesleyan and Williams in 1955. In 1971, Bates, Colby, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, and Union College joined on and the NESCAC was officially formed. Union withdrew in 1977, and was replaced by Connecticut College in 1982. The schools share a similar philosophy for intercollegiate athletics. The Conference was created out of a concern for the direction of intercollegiate athletic programs and remains committed to keeping a proper perspective on the role of sport in higher education.
Member institutions believe athletic teams should be representative of school's entire student bodies and hew to NCAA Division III admissions and financial policies prohibiting athletic scholarships while awarding financial aid solely on the basis of need. Due to the prestigious reputations of its member schools, the NESCAC is able to attract many of the most athletically and intellectually gifted student-athletes in the country. Members stress that intercollegiate athletic programs should operate in harmony with the educational mission of each institution. Schools are committed to maintaining common boundaries to keep athletics strong yet in proportion to their overall academic mission. Presidents of each NESCAC institution control intercollegiate athletic policy. Conference tenets are usually more restrictive than those of the NCAA Division III regarding season length, number of contests and post-season competition.
Many of the schools in the New England Small College Athletic Conference participate in inter-school rivalries.
Bates and Bowdoin have competed against each other athletically since the 1870s and subsequently share one of the ten oldest NCAA Division III football rivalries, in the United States. In the 1940s, Colby began competing and subsequently went on to form the consortium in the 1960s, after the University of Maine moved to Division I athletics. The official athletic competition started in the 1965, when Colby joined Bates and Bowdoin in their more structured football games and created the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Consortium (CBB). As an aside, the three Maine schools cooperate in other ways, having joined together to form Maine Public Broadcasting and its flagship station, WCBB-TV.
Amherst, Wesleyan and Williams have also competed with each other since their inception and have gone on to unofficially create an athletic conference, the "Little Three". Although meant to draw the parallel between the Big Three of the Ivy League, there is no connection between the established athletic conference with Amherst, Wesleyan, and Williams.
|Racial and ethnic background (2015-2016)|
Most applicants to schools in the NESCAC come from the Northeast, largely from the New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia areas. As all NESCAC schools are located on the East Coast, and all but one are in New England, most graduates end up working and residing in the Northeast after graduation.
Academics and financial aid
Many schools in the New England Small College Athletic Conference are known for low grade inflation and rigorous academic standards. The practice was often contrasted with the Ivy League schools with respect to uncovered grade inflation. Some members have received limited media coverage over perceived grade inflation. The colleges are known for a range of high and relatively low tuition rates and compressive fees, some of the colleges have been named the most expensive in the United States.
Fashion and lifestyle
Preppy styles are often associated with the NESCAC and its culture. The athletic conference is often associated with the upper class White Anglo-Saxon Protestant community of the Northeast, Old Money, or more generally, the American upper middle and upper classes. However, all schools have made institutional efforts to diversify student body, and attract and wide range of students to their institutions. Many schools in the NESCAC provide significant financial aid to help increase the enrollment of lower income and middle class students.
Some typical preppy styles also reflect traditional upper class New England leisure activities, such as equestrian, sailing or yachting, hunting, fencing, rowing, lacrosse, tennis, squash, golf, and rugby. Longtime New England and Canadian outdoor outfitters, such as L.L. Bean, Patagonia, Canada Goose, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and Vineyard Vines have become part of conventional NESCAC style. This can be seen in sport stripes and colors, equestrian clothing, plaid shirts, field jackets and nautical-themed accessories worn by the students of the NESCAC.
Many colleges banned fraternities and sororities on the grounds of unwarranted exclusivity, and provided on-campus social houses for all students to engage with. Williams College displaced their fraternity system in the 1960s due to high levels of racial and religious discrimination. President Chandler said, "there remained the system of blackballing and secret agreements between some fraternities and their national bodies to exclude blacks and Jews... it was essentially a caste system based on socioeconomic status as perceived by students." Bates rejected the fraternity system in 1855, when it was founded. Colby disbanded its fraternities and sororities in 1984. At Bowdoin, fraternities were phased out in 2000. Colleges in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, are widely known for a prominent drinking culture.
U.S. Presidents and the NESCAC
Schools in the New England Small College Athletic Conference have graduated four U.S. Presidents as of 2016. The first president to graduate from the athletic conference was Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the U.S., a Bowdoin graduate of 1856. The 20th President of the U.S., James A. Garfield graduated from Williams College in 1888. The third U.S. President to graduate from a NESCAC was Calvin Coolidge, who graduated from Amherst College in 1895.
Competition and athletics
|Institution||Opponent (even years)||Opponent (odd years)|
Four NESCAC institutions are among the 39 that founded the NCAA in 1905: Amherst, Tufts, Wesleyan, and Williams. Prior to 1993 NESCAC generally did not allow member schools to send teams to NCAA championships. Since then all sports except football have had this freedom, many excelling in the NCAA Division III championships. The NACDA Directors' Cup, awarded since 1996 to the college or university in each NCAA Division that wins the most college championships, has been claimed at the Division III level by a NESCAC institution every year except 1998. In the 2012–13 season, four of the top ten NACDA Director's Cup institutions were from NESCAC: Williams (1), Middlebury (3), Amherst (6), and Tufts (8). In addition to the ban on post-season play, the NESCAC football league is notable for member teams playing conference games only. While some Division II and Division III teams play only conference schedules, NESCAC is unique in all of its members playing only within conference games.
|Institution||Athletic spending||Amount per (unduplicated) athlete||Div III Rank||Amount per student|
Note: Nine (out of the eleven) NESCAC schools rank in the top 25 Division III for total athletic spending. With the exception of Connecticut College, all NESCAC schools rank in the top 10% of Division III for # of varsity athletes. Connecticut College athletic spending and # of varsity athletes are lowest because it does not have a football team. Tufts per-student athletic spending is low because it has nearly double the undergraduate population (5,100) of its nearest NESCAC rival (Wesleyan, with 2,800), and it has not emphasized athletic spending.
|Amherst||Pratt Field||8,000||LeFrak Gymnasium||2,450||Hitchcock Field||6,000|
|Bates||Garcelon Field||3,000||Alumni Gymnasium||750||Russel Street Field||4,000|
|Bowdoin||Whittier Field||9,000||Morrell Gymnasium||2,000||Pickard Field||4,500|
|Colby||Harold Alfond Stadium||5,000||Wadsworth Gymnasium||2,500||Colby Soccer Field||3,700|
|Connecticut||Non-football school||N/A||Luce Fieldhouse||800||Freeman Field||1,000|
|Hamilton||Steuben Field||2,500||Margaret Bundy Scott Field House||2,500||Steuben Field||2,500|
|Middlebury||Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium||3,500||Pepin Gymnasium||1,200||Middlebury Soccer Field||1,200|
|Trinity||Jessee/Miller Field||6,500||Oosting Gym||2,000||Jessee/Miller Field||6,500|
|Tufts||Ellis Oval||6,000||Cousens Gym||1,000||Ellis Oval||6,000|
|Wesleyan||Andrus Field||5,000||Silloway Gymnasium||1,200||Jackson Field||1,200|
|Williams||Weston Field||10,000||Chandler Gymnasium||2,900||Weston Field||10,000|
- Kingston, Paul William and Lionel S. Lewis, "Introduction: Studying Elite Schools in America" (1990). In The High Status Track: Studies of Elite Schools and Stratification. SUNY Press, ISBN 0-7914-0010-7. p. xviii: "More widely recognized is the distinctive cachet of an Ivy League education—and possibly that at the 'Little Three' (Amherst, Wesleyan and Williams) and a small number of other private colleges and universities."
- The New York Times (1970): "Students decline Wesleyan offers," June 15, 1970, p. 28: "Amherst College, a member with Williams and Wesleyan in the Little Ivy League..."
- Calhoun, Charles (1993). A Small College in Maine. Hubbard Hall, Bowdoin College: Bowdoin College. p. 163.: Bowdoin College. pp. 12, 19.
...Of the three top schools in Maine, the CBB drew the most notation to what was informally characterized as a smaller Ivy League, one that provided an Ivy League education with a smaller student body
- Larson, Timothy (2005). Faith by Their Works: The Progressive Tradition at Bates College from 1855 to 1877. Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine: Edmund S. Muskie Archives. pp. 3, 51.
... the group [CBB] seemed to draw power from their comparisons to the Ivy League operating in such a group entitled, 'the Little Ivies."... Bowdoin often drawing the connection to Harvard, Bates to Princeton, and Colby to Yale..
- "NESCAC". www.nescac.com. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
- "The Not-So-Little Ivies | The College Voice". Retrieved 2016-02-09.
- "National Liberal Arts College Ranking: Top Liberal Arts Colleges - US News Best Colleges". U.S World News.
- "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-03-14.
- "NESCAC". nescac.com.
- http://www.union.edu/Presidents/bonner.php, retrieved October 1, 2008. "[I]n March 1977, a letter from the president of Williams College brought to light evidence that, a year earlier, Harkness had violated the NESCAC recruiting rules and then lied about the matter when confronted by President Bonner. Bonner immediately suspended Harkness, and offered his own resignation to the Board of Trustees at its April meeting. The trustees reinstated Harkness, refused to accept the president's resignation—reappointing him for one year—and voted to terminate Union's membership in NESCAC."
- "NESCAC". www.nescac.com. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
- "Williams College Endowment Fund". endowments.com. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
- "Williams". ephsports.williams.edu. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- Nevin, David (1970). Muskie of Maine. Ladd Library, Bates College: Random House, New York. p. 99.
- Woz, Markus (2002). Traditionally Unconventonal. Ladd Library, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine: Bates College. p. 6.
- Klein, Jeff Z. "Want a Real Rivalry? Try Bowdoin-Colby". Slap Shot. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- One version of the facts: my life in ... - Henry Edmison Duckworth - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "The Global Language Monitor » Blog Archive » 2011 Top 300 Colleges and Universities Ranked by Internet 'Brand Equity'". Languagemonitor.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Around the Courts: College Squash Weekend Highlights (1/30/2011)". College Squash Association. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "M. Squash | Big tuneups versus 'Little Three'". The Daily Pennsylvanian. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Larson, Timothy (2005). "Faith by Their Works: The Progressive Tradition at Bates College from 1855 to 1877,". Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine: Bates College Publishing. pp. Multi–source.
- "Amherst College - CollegeData College Profile". COLLEGEdata. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Bates College | Admissions, Average Test Scores & Tuition | The Princeton Review". www.princetonreview.com. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Bowdoin College - CollegeData College Profile". COLLEGEdata. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Colby College - CollegeData College Profile". COLLEGEdata. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Connecticut College - CollegeData College Profile". COLLEGEdata. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Hamilton College - CollegeData College Profile". COLLEGEdata. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Middlebury College - CollegeData College Profile". COLLEGEdata. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Trinity College - CollegeData College Profile". COLLEGEdata. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Tufts University - CollegeData College Profile". COLLEGEdata. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Wesleyan University - CollegeData College Profile". COLLEGEdata. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Williams College - CollegeData College Profile". COLLEGEdata. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- Clark, Charles E. (2005). Bates Through the Years: an Illustrated History. Edmund Muskie Archives: Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. p. 37.
- "Amherst Mag - When It Comes to Grade Inflation, Think "When in Rome..."".
- "The Amherst Student Opinion Grade Inflation Devalues Education". amherststudent-archive.amherst.edu. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
- "Grade Inflation : EphBlog". ephblog.com. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
- Staley, Oliver. "Bates Charging $51,300 Leads Expensive U.S. Colleges List". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
- "Getting Intimate With My Elitist Indignation". Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- "Student Financial Services, Bates College". www.bates.edu. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- "Financial Aid". finaid.williams.edu. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- Zlotnick, Sarah (February 24, 2012). "Your cheat sheet to preppy style". The Washingtonian.
- "7 Things You Need To Explain To Your Non-Bowdoin Friends". Her Campus. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- Schonfeld, Zach. "Inside the Colleges that killed Frats for Good".
- digitalcommons.colby.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=...[dead link] Retrieved 2016-04-15
- Retrieved 2016-04-15
- "BSG discusses NESCAC alcohol survey, printing plan — The Bowdoin Orient". The Bowdoin Orient. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
- "NESCAC Schools Survey Alcohol Use". The Middlebury Campus. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
- Zach. "NESCAC NEWS: Over 50 Colby Students Facing Alcohol Charges". Wesleying. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
- "Let's Talk About Booze Part 3". Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- "Franklin Pierce: Life Before the Presidency—Miller Center". 2016-03-10. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "James A. Garfield - U.S. Presidents - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Calvin Coolidge: Life Before the Presidency—Miller Center". 2016-01-24. Archived from the original on January 24, 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
- "Chester A. Arthur: Life Before the Presidency—Miller Center". millercenter.org. Archived from the original on April 12, 2016. Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- "Jumbos Welcome Wesleyan to Ellis Oval/Zimman Field on Saturday for 2012 Football Opener". Tufts.
- "2016 NESCAC Football - NESCAC". www.nescac.com. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
- NCAA News Archive - Founding members hold true to NCAA educational mission
- "NESCAC". nescac.com.
- "Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool Website". ed.gov.