CANTON, N.Y.—The Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association, formed in 1995, will officially change its name to the Liberty League, effective immediately, according to Margaret Strait, athletic director at St. Lawrence University and League president.
The new league includes founding members Clarkson University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College, and Union College. Vassar College became a full member of the league during the 2000-01 academic year. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute will join the Liberty League this fall as associate members in football only.
“Our conference has evolved dramatically over the past 10 years and we felt the timing was appropriate for this change,” Strait said. “The new name and logo project a positive image for a group of institutions that has worked together to provide a very meaningful educational experience for thousands of student-athletes. We came together as selective private institutions with shared values to bring out the best aspects of intercollegiate athletics.
“The name change and new marks will help us tell our success story and will better reflect who we are as a league. We have stood for tradition and excellence and we’re proud of what we have established.”
The Liberty League sponsors championships in 24 sports. The member institutions of the league place the highest priority on the overall quality of the educational experience and on the successful completion of its student-athletes’ academic programs. The member institutions seek to establish and maintain an environment in which a student-athlete’s athletic activities are conducted as an integral part of the educational experience.
During the 2003-04 academic year, the member institutions sent 17 teams in 14 sports to their respective NCAA Tournaments, as well as dozens of individual student-athletes to NCAA Championship events in cross country, swimming & diving, and tennis.
Among the best in the nation in the classroom as well, Liberty League student-athletes garnered five CoSIDA Academic All-America awards and 37 CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.
Fans can visit the Liberty League online at: www.libertyleaguesports.org.
The new conference mark was designed by the New York-based design agency SME. Since 1989, SME has been providing innovative branding and design solutions in professional and collegiate sports around the globe.
The Liberty League also has partnered with Strategic Marketing Affiliates, Inc. (www.smaworks.com) from Indianapolis, Ind., to perform the role of licensing agent for the league and to oversee the administration of the new identity and the release of marks to approved vendors.