AU Press Releases

Houghton College to join Empire 8 Conference

ROCHESTER, NY – Houghton College will become a new member of the Empire 8 beginning in 2012-13. The NAIA institution is in the process of applying for NCAA Division III membership. If accepted, there will be one year of exploratory membership followed by four years of provisional membership before becoming an active Division III member.

The Highlanders will compete in the conference in 2012-13, but will not be eligible for conference championships until they become an active NCAA Division III member. Houghton will compete in Empire 8 play in each sport it sponsors: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s track and field, and volleyball.

The members of the Empire 8 are committed first and foremost to the pursuit of academic excellence. The membership distinguishes itself among its peer group for its quality institutions, spirited and sportsmanlike competition, outstanding services and highly ethical policies, educational programming and practices. Its commitment to serve the educational needs of its student-athletes is the hallmark of the Empire 8.

In its 10-year history, more than 9,500 student-athletes have earned Empire 8 Presidents’ List honors by posting a 3.75 grade point average or better for an academic term. The conference-wide grade point average of its student-athletes is consistently above 3.0, demonstrating the emphasis on academic achievement.

Empire 8 is nationally respected for the competitiveness of its athletic teams. In 10 years, it has produced 50 teams in the Sweet Sixteen, 31 in the Round of Eight, 11 Final Four teams, one national champion, and two national runner-ups. Fifteen Empire 8 teams posted top-20 finishes in individual sports.

Empire 8 consists of Alfred University (NY), Elmira College (NY), Hartwick College (NY), Ithaca College (NY), Nazareth College (NY), Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), St. John Fisher College (NY), Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ), and Utica College (NY).