Middle Atlantic Conferences - History

History

In 1912, the Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Athletics Association (MASCAA) was founded primarily as a track association and had its first event, a track meeting, at Lafayette College in May 1913. In 1922, it was reorganized as the Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC or MAC). The original 13 members present at the formation meeting in 1922 were: Bucknell University, Drexel University, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Haverford College, Muhlenberg College, New York University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Susquehanna University, Swarthmore College and University of Delaware. In addition, another five members who were not present at the initial meeting but formally approved of the plan were: Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, Lehigh University, Ursinus College and Widener University.

Throughout its history, the organization has had at least 50 different members associated with it. The conference had as many as 37 members at one time in the late 1950s. A major reduction in the league occurred in 1974 after the NCAA created Divisions I, II, and III. At that time, 11 members left to form the Division I East Coast Conference and by 1976, the MAC became fully associated with Division III. An additional 11 members left in 1992 to form the Centennial Conference; the football programs for eight of those schools had already left in 1981. In 1999, the current corporation formed with its three conferences: Commonwealth, Freedom and Middle Atlantic.

In May 2006, the organization offered membership to Arcadia University and Manhattanville College as part of the Freedom Conference. They replaced Juniata College, Drew University, Moravian College, Susquehanna University, and the University of Scranton, who left to join the new Landmark Conference. To offset the change in numbers, it was also decided to switch Lycoming College from the Freedom to the Commonwealth Conference.

In 2007, Alvernia University, Misericordia University, and Eastern University, all from the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference, accepted membership in the Freedom Conference and started participation in the 2008–09 school year. Starting in the 2009–10 school year, Alvernia switched from the Freedom to the Commonwealth Conference to balance both conferences with eight teams each. Stevenson University and Hood College accepted invitations to join the MAC and Commonwealth starting in July 2012 expanding the conference to 18 members.

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