Posted: Jul 10, 2020
D'YOUVILLE ACCEPTED INTO NCAA DIVISION II MEMBERSHIP PROCESS
D'Youville has been accepted into NCAA Division II membership process and will officially compete as a member of the East Coast Conference.
Since 2001, the university has competed at the NCAA Division III level. The application to reclassify to Division II membership was submitted on February 1, 2020, after careful consideration from the Athletics Department and administration.
"We are thrilled to hear of our acceptance into NCAA Division II membership," said D'Youville President Lorrie Clemo. "This reclassification has been a high priority project within the university's strategic plan. After extensive internal and external evaluation and research it became very clear that the institution was destined to take this next step."
D'Youville had to meet certain qualifying factors over the course of the application process, a period which extended until June 1. These factors included demonstrating preparedness on behalf of the Athletics Department and school in regards to sufficient facilities, staffing, and budget. A verification visit to D'Youville's campus was also performed on behalf of the NCAA.
The approval of D'Youville's membership application begins a provisional membership process—a three year period during which the NCAA will monitor the adherence of division II rules, at the end of which period the university can be granted full membership.
The timing of this news comes recently after the announcement and reveal of D'Youville's new athletic brand identity and mascot, which has changed from "The Spartans" to "The Saints."
Director of Athletics Ona Halladay spoke to the changes as a demonstration of providing new opportunities for all students:
"Led by the institutions strategic plan, it was a team effort to get to this point," Halladay said. "We are proud to provide a more holistic athletic and academic opportunity to our current student-athletes and future student-athletes. Our coaches are excited to expand our recruiting efforts beyond New York State and make the D'Youville Saints known around the country and internationally."
President Clemo likewise praised Division II's mission as one that closely aligns with the university's:
"A notable hallmark of Division II institutions is their commitment to 'life in the balance,' as a way of life. This mantra captures the multiple facets of the Division II student-athlete experience: comprehensive learning and academic development, high-level competition, and community engagement. This philosophical foundation aligns closely with D'Youville's mission of providing students a quality, holistic learning experience designed to develop graduates that will become compassionate leaders that never refuse to serve."
In the upcoming 2020 season, the Saints will meet new conference challengers including the Daemen Wildcats, Roberts Wesleyan Redhawks, Molloy College Lions, and others. In recent campus communications to current parents and students, D'Youville announced it's restart plan for the campus opening in the fall. The athletic schedule is set to move forward as of this point, although that is subject to change with the monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic.
No matter what the future has in store, Halladay expressed a bright outlook for the D'Youville Saints.
"I could not be more excited for the future of D'Youville Athletics but more specifically our student-athletes. This reclassification will continue to support the academic rigor that D'Youville offers our students but will elevate their athletic experience."