(April 12, 2010)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Prospective Student-Athletes Invited to May 1 Centenary Athletic Day.

Centenary College Accepts Invitation to New Athletics Conference

American Southwest Conference logo

SHREVEPORT, La. (Centenary News Service)— Centenary College President David Rowe announced today that the College has accepted an invitation for membership into the American Southwest Conference, one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate athletic conferences in NCAA Division III sports.

"This is great day for Centenary College and the ASC," said Rowe. "We are thrilled to join this conference and look forward to the robust competition and increased campus spirit that this affiliation will bring to our school."

Outlined in the invitation and acceptance, the start of membership in the ASC is contingent upon Centenary College's placement into the NCAA Division III reclassification process. The College is currently in the process of completing the reclassification application for the Division III Membership Committee, and will submit the documents by the May 2010 deadline. That committee is scheduled to meet in mid-June.

"Moving to Division III is an important step in our overall strategic plan of transforming Centenary College, expanding our student recruitment throughout the region and in providing the very best in athletics competition for our students," added Rowe. "Our transition to Division III is a move that will support and advance the mission and educational philosophy of the College."

Video: David Rowe, Amy Carlton, and Tom Tallach comment on the Centenary's plans to compete in NCAA Division III Athletics as part of the American Southwest Conference.

ASC press conference

Amy Carlton (center), Commissioner of the American Southwest Conference, answers questions from reporters during a press conference as Centenary College president, David Rowe (left) and Tom Tallach (right) Director of Athletics look on. Centenary College announced the acceptance into the conference April 12.

Post Press-conference statements

David Rowe

Amy Carlton

Tom Tallach

"The American Southwest Conference is pleased to welcome Centenary College of Louisiana to our membership and to support the College's transition to NCAA Division III affiliation," said Amy Carlton, Commissioner of the American Southwest Conference. "Centenary College brings to the ASC a strong academic profile and a commitment to athletics as part of the student's overall collegiate experience — both cornerstones in Division III and the American Southwest Conference."

Founded in May 1996 to provide a structure for intercollegiate athletics among member institutions, the American Southwest Conference includes former members of the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association (TIAA) and other institutions from outside the Texas borders. From the eight founding institutions to today's present group of 15 college and universities, the ASC encompasses institutions sharing similar educational and athletic philosophies. Spreading across the 422,060 square miles of the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, the ASC offers student-athletes competition in 16 sports with opportunity for advancement to conference and NCAA Division III championships.

Members of the American Southwest Conference include Concordia University Texas, East Texas Baptist University, Hardin-Simmons University, Howard Payne University, LeTourneau University, Louisiana College, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, McMurry University, Mississippi College, University of the Ozarks, Schreiner University, Sul Ross State University, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at Tyler, and Texas Lutheran University.

"When Centenary College comes aboard, the ASC will move back to a 16-member level and take another step in strengthening the competitive profile of the conference's championship sports," added Carlton. "In the broader picture, Centenary's Division III membership benefits not only the ASC, but Division III institutions and conferences across the south and southwest. Geographically, Centenary is centered among the ASC East Division schools and I foresee rivalries forming quickly in several sports. When the West Division is included, the opportunity for enhancing competitive and collegial ties among all ASC members grows even more."

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in the Shreveport and Bossier City communities.