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CIAA Leaders Vote to Expand Conference
HAMPTON, Va. — In a historic move consistent with the recent progress of the conference, the CIAA Board of Directors has voted to admit Chowan University as a full conference member effective July 1, 2009.
The Board will continue to evaluate the admission of Philadelphia’s Lincoln University for conference inclusion during the Spring Board proceedings in May. If successful, the league will resume play with 12 teams for the 2009 season in all sports.
Chowan, a Christian educational institution founded in Northeastern North Carolina in 1848 by Baptist families and named to honor the Native American Algonquin Chowanook tribe, proved to be a perfect match for the CIAA in terms of historical foundation, geography, educational synergies, and commitment to its student athletes.
Chowan initially joined the CIAA to participate in football only for the 2008 season.
“Chowan University’s membership affirms the CIAA’s commitment to building a diverse and competitive conference and represents a new chapter in the CIAA’s history of blazing new trails and raising the bar in NCAA Division II sports,” says Dr. Dianne Boardley Suber, Chair, CIAA Board of Directors.
Chowan is positioned in the Northeast region of the state, which is home to CIAA’s Elizabeth City State University and a short distance from the Hampton Roads, Newport News and Virginia Beach areas, a traditional hotbed for CIAA fans and alumni.
“Today I am very proud of our Board of Directors for taking such a visionary approach to the expansion of this great conference,” stated CIAA Commissioner Leon Kerry. “From a competitive stand point, Chowan offers a natural rivalry for our existing institutions.”
Chowan is a Division II member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of which the CIAA and its schools are members as well.