PAWTUCKET, R.I. – The Little East Conference (LEC) Presidents Council announced today the addition of Castleton University as the league’s ninth member, marking the first expansion of conference membership in 20 years. Castleton University will join the LEC for the 2018-2019 academic year and participate in 18 of the 19 championships offered by the Little East, specifically in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s field hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field and women’s volleyball.
“On behalf of the Presidents Council of the Little East Conference, I am pleased to add Castleton University to our membership effective for the 2018-19 academic year,” said Elsa Núñez, President of Eastern Connecticut State University and Chair of the LEC Presidents Council. “Adding another institution to our league enhances our competitiveness, gives us greater Automatic Qualifier flexibility, strengthens our budget and enhances the student- athlete experience.”
“Castleton is absolutely delighted to be a member of the Little East Conference and we hope that we can contribute over the coming years to the league's impressive and storied traditions,” said Castleton University President Dave Wolk. “The Little East aligns well with us both academically and athletically, and we think it’s a perfect fit as we all share the same goals of good sportsmanship, academic excellence and community engagement.”
Castleton University has more than 600 student-athletes and has won 30 conference titles in ten different sports over the past five years with nine titles coming over the last two seasons, including five straight women’s lacrosse NAC championships, three consecutive baseball NAC titles as well as titles in softball, men’s lacrosse, women’s basketball, women’s soccer and field hockey.
"The addition of Castleton University adds value and strengthens the Little East Conference's competitive position, thanks to their commitment to the Division III philosophy of academic and athletic excellence and broad-based sport sponsorship,” said LEC Commissioner, Cora H. Brumley.
“For more than a decade we have been investing in our student-athletes with the vision of competing among the very best in the region. Today is a very rewarding day as we feel as though we've taken a major step towards achieving that vision,” said Castleton University Associate Dean for Athletics & Recreation Deanna Tyson. “Our student-athletes commit countless hours on the playing fields, in the classroom, and in the community. We feel strongly that in the Little East we have found a home that matches that commitment and will enhance the student-athlete experience.”
Castleton University becomes the first member institution to be accepted into the Little East Conference since 1997-98 when Keene State College joined the conference as a primary member as the conference started expanding its sports offerings with the addition of field hockey, indoor and outdoor track and field and volleyball.
About Castleton University: Located in Castleton, Vermont, Castleton University is the 18th oldest institution of higher education in the United States with more than 2,100 students enrolled in a variety of undergraduate majors, minors, concentrations and certificates in over 75 programs of study. The institution was founded in 1787 and is located on a 165-acre campus 15 miles west of Rutland, Vermont.
About the Little East Conference: The Little East Conference (LEC) was formed in 1986 when six public institutions gathered to create a single sport athletic conference and has expanded into what is now New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. The LEC features 19 Championship Sports and sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes while following the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship and citizenship.