(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) - The USA South Athletic Conference is pleased to announce that Berea College and Pfeiffer University have been accepted to begin the process of full membership within the Conference. Berea is currently in the process of transitioning from NAIA to NCAA Division III status while Pfeiffer is currently in the process of reclassifying from NCAA Division II to Division III. Each institution will begin USA South play during the 2017-18 academic year.
"We are very pleased that the Council of the USA South Presidents agreed to allow Berea College and Pfeiffer University to begin the process of becoming full members of the Conference," said Dr. Larry Czarda, President of Greensboro College and Chair, USA South Presidents Council. "Both institutions are a wonderful fit for the Conference and the leadership of each has been excellent in making their respective transitions. We all look forward to being engaged with the Mountaineers and Falcons very soon."
"We are pleased to welcome both Berea and Pfeiffer as the newest members of the USA South", stated Rita Wiggs, USA South Commissioner. "Each has great leadership, are eager to become Division III members while already exemplifying many pillars of the Division III and USA South philosophy. We look forward to their coaches and student-athletes competing in the USA South."
Berea, founded in 1855, offers a high-quality liberal arts education to students who have great promise but limited economic resources. Founded upon inclusive Christian principles, Berea College was the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. The College promotes understanding and kinship among all people, service to communities in Appalachia and beyond, and sustainable living practices that set an example of new ways to conserve our limited natural resources. The Mountaineers currently offer seven men's sports (baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field) and seven women's sports (basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball).
"Berea is honored to be welcomed into the USA South," shared Dr. Lyle Roelofs, President of Berea College. "We are excited to be competing against institutions like us with the same academic values and the same commitment to the welfare of student-athletes."
Pfeiffer, established in 1885 is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the United Methodist Church whose mission is to prepare servant leaders for lifelong learning. Pfeiffer is a globally engaged, regional university distinctive for its transformational undergraduate experiences and leadership in professional and graduate programs that fill demonstrated needs. The Falcons currently offer nine men's sports (baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field, volleyball) and nine women's sports (basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball).
"Pfeiffer is thrilled to be a part of the USA South," shared Dr. Colleen Keith, President of Pfeiffer University. "It is a group of Colleges and Universities that match what our commitment to academics is and this is a natural step for us. We are very pleased to be a member of this Conference."