Presidents' Athletic Conference

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Presidents' Athletic Conference
Presidents' Athletic Conference logo
Established 1955
Association NCAA
Division Division III
Members 9
Sports fielded
  • 19
    • men's: 10
    • women's: 9
Region Appalachia
Headquarters Wexford, Pennsylvania
Commissioner Joe Onderko (since 2006)
Presidents' Athletic Conference locations

The Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) is an athletic conference which competes in the NCAA's Division III. Of its nine current member schools, all private, liberal arts institutions of higher learning, eight are located in Western Pennsylvania, and the other in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia, an area adjoining and historically tied to Western Pennsylvania.


The PAC was founded in 1955 by the presidents of Western Reserve University (1955–1967, operating athletically as Adelbert College from 1967 to 1970), Case Institute of Technology (1955–1970), John Carroll University (1955–1988) and Wayne State University (1955–1967).[1] Unlike other conferences at that time, the PAC was designed to be controlled by the presidents of the institutions rather than the athletic directors.[1] Member institutions were to admit athletes on the same academic standards as other students and award scholarships only based on academic achievement or need.[1]

By 1958, the PAC expanded east to include Allegheny College (1958–1984), Bethany College (1958–present), Thiel College (1958–present) and Washington & Jefferson College (1958–present).[1] Eventually, many other member institutions joined the PAC, like Chatham University (2007–present), Geneva College (2007–present), Grove City College (1984–present), Saint Vincent College (2006–present), Thomas More College (2005–2018), Waynesburg University (1990–present) and Westminster College (2000–present).[2]

Some former PAC member institutions include Alfred University (1996–1998), Carnegie Mellon University (1968–1989), Eastern Michigan University (1962–1967) and Hiram College (1972–1989).[2] On May 31, 2017, Thomas More College announced its withdrawal from the PAC at the conclusion of the 2017–18 school year.[3]

The headquarters is located in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.[4]

Membership evolution[2][edit]

  • 1955 Charter members Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, and Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, along with Wayne State University in Detroit, come together to form the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC).
  • 1958 The PAC adds four additional members - Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.; Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.; Thiel College in Greenville, Pa.; and Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pa., bringing the total number of conference members to eight.
  • 1962 The PAC accepted the University of Ypsilanti (Eastern Michigan) as its ninth member.
  • 1966 Wayne State and Eastern Michigan withdrew from the PAC following the 1966–67 academic year, leaving the conference with seven members.
  • 1967 Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University federated into a new institution known as Case Western Reserve University. The undergraduate student bodies remained separate, however, and both Case Tech and Adelbert College (the male undergraduate school of the former Western Reserve University) continued to field separate teams.
  • 1968 Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh is accepted into the PAC.
  • 1970 Case Western Reserve University begins to compete as one program, no longer fielding teams as Case Tech and Adelbert.
  • 1972 Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio is accepted into the PAC.
  • 1983 Allegheny College and Case Western Reserve University leave the PAC following the 1983–84 academic year.
  • 1984 Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., is accepted into the PAC.
  • 1984–85 The PAC sponsors women's athletic championships for the first time.
  • 1988 John Carroll University leaves the PAC.
  • 1989 Carnegie Mellon University and Hiram College leave the PAC.
  • 1990 Waynesburg College (now University) in Waynesburg, Pa., is accepted into the PAC.
  • 1996 Alfred College in Alfred, N.Y., is accepted into the PAC.
  • 1998 Alfred College leaves the PAC.
  • 2000 Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., is accepted into the PAC.
  • 2005 Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky., is accepted into the PAC.
  • 2006 Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., is accepted into the PAC
  • 2007 Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., and Chatham University in Pittsburgh are both accepted into the PAC, bringing the conference to 10 full-time members.
  • 2011 Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Case Western Reserve in Cleveland are both admitted to the PAC as affiliate members in the sport of football beginning in the 2014–15 academic year.
  • 2018 – Thomas More left the PAC for the American Collegiate Athletic Association; it will only be an ACAA member for one year, as it will return to the NAIA in 2019 as a member of the Mid-South Conference.

Member schools[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location Nickname Founded Enrollment Joined Colors
Bethany College Bethany, West Virginia Bison 1840 1,030 1958          
Chatham University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Cougars 1869 2,300 2007          
Geneva College Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania Golden Tornadoes 1848 1,791 2007          
Grove City College Grove City, Pennsylvania Wolverines 1876 2,500 1984          
Saint Vincent College Latrobe, Pennsylvania Bearcats 1846 1,652 2006          
Thiel College Greenville, Pennsylvania Tomcats 1866 1,066 1958          
Washington & Jefferson College Washington, Pennsylvania Presidents 1781 1,519 1958          
Waynesburg University Waynesburg, Pennsylvania Yellow Jackets 1849 1,500 1990          
Westminster College New Wilmington, Pennsylvania Titans 1852 1,482 2000          

Associate members[edit]

The PAC currently has two associate members, both of which play only football in the league. The 2014 season was the first for both schools.[5]

Institution Location Nickname Founded Enrollment Joined Primary Conference PAC Sport
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Tartans 1900 6,362 2014–15 UAA football
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio Spartans 1826 5,150 2014–15 UAA football

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Nickname Founded Enrollment Joined Left Current Conference
Allegheny College Meadville, Pennsylvania Gators 1815 2,100 1958 1984 NCAC
Alfred University Alfred, New York Saxons 1836 2,300 1996 1998 Empire 8
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Tartans 1900 6,170 1968 1989 UAA
Case Institute of Technology Cleveland, Ohio Rough Riders 1880 n/a 1955 1970 n/a[fm 1]
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, Ohio Spartans 1967 5,121 1970 1984 UAA
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, Michigan Eagles 1849 22,974 1962 1967 MAC
(NCAA Division I)
Hiram College Hiram, Ohio Terriers 1850 1,271 1972 1989 NCAC
John Carroll University University Heights, Ohio Blue Streaks 1886 3,726 1955 1988 OAC
Thomas More College Crestview Hills, Kentucky Saints 1921 1,900 2005 2018 ACAA
(Mid-South, NAIA in 2019)
Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan Tartars[fm 2] 1868 32,564 1955 1967 GLIAC
(NCAA Division II)
Western Reserve University[fm 3] Cleveland, Ohio Red Cats 1826 n/a 1955 1970 n/a[fm 1]


  1. ^ a b Case Tech and Western Reserve University merged in 1967, but the athletic programs continued to operate separately through the 1969–70 school year.
  2. ^ Wayne State joined the conference as Wayne University. It adopted its current name in 1956 and its current nickname of Warriors in 1999.
  3. ^ During the first three years after the Case Western Reserve merger (1967–1970), when Case Tech and Western Reserve continued to operate separate athletic programs, Western Reserve used the athletic identity of its former undergraduate arm, Adelbert College.

Membership timeline[edit]

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Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
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Cross Country
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Swimming & Diving
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Track and field
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  1. ^ a b c d E. Lee, North (1991). "Chapter 14: The Frustrating Fifties". Battling the Indians, Panthers, and Nittany Lions: The Story of Washington & Jefferson College's First Century of Football, 1890-1990. Daring Books. pp. 161–168. ISBN 978-1-878302-03-8. OCLC 24174022. 
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ "Thomas More to Withdraw from PAC" (Press release). Thomas More Saints. May 31, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2017. 
  4. ^
  5. ^

External links[edit]

Media related to Presidents' Athletic Conference at Wikimedia Commons