Centennial Conference

The Centennial Conference is an athletic conference which competes in the NCAA's Division III. Member teams are located in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Centennial Conference
DivisionDivision III
Sports fielded
  • 24
    • men's: 12
    • women's: 12
HeadquartersLancaster, Pennsylvania
CommissionerSteve Ulrich

Eleven private colleges compose the Centennial Conference. Five of ten members of the Centennial Conference rank among the top 50 national liberal arts colleges and Johns Hopkins University is tied for tenth among national universities.

On average, Centennial members sponsor 19 varsity teams. Conference members have won thirteen NCAA team titles: Johns Hopkins women's cross country (2012, 2013, 2014), Gettysburg women's lacrosse (2011, 2017, 2018), Haverford men's cross country (2010), Franklin & Marshall women's lacrosse (2007, 2009), Ursinus field hockey (2006), Washington men's lacrosse (1998), and Washington men's tennis (1994, 1997).


According to the Centennial Conference's web site: "On June 4, 1981, Keith Spalding, then-president of Franklin & Marshall College, made the announcement that "eight private colleges found it timely and appropriate to form a round-robin football schedule among institutions with similar attitudes and practices in intercollegiate football competition." With that statement, the Centennial Conference was born. Those private colleges were Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Johns Hopkins University, Muhlenberg College, Swarthmore College, Ursinus College, and Western Maryland College (later renamed and now known as McDaniel College).

The conference moved from a football-only conference to an all-sports conference after a 1991 feasibility study. The study also recommended to expand from eight schools to eleven. The other schools recommended were Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, and Washington College. Those three schools accepted and became charter members in 1992 as the conference expanded its sports offerings.

All of the charter members defected from the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). Johns Hopkins and McDaniel College both played in the Mason-Dixon Conference prior to entering the MAC in 1975.

Member schools

Current members

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Nickname U.S. News Ranking
for Liberal Arts
Bryn Mawr College1 Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 1885 Private 1,381 1992 Owls 27 No
Dickinson College Carlisle, Pennsylvania 1783 Private 2,420 1981 Red Devils 51 Yes
Franklin & Marshall College Lancaster, Pennsylvania 1787 Private 2,255 1981 Diplomats 36 Yes
Gettysburg College Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 1832 Private 2,384 1981 Bullets 49 Yes
Haverford College Haverford, Pennsylvania 1833 Private 1,268 1992 Fords 11 No
Johns Hopkins University2 Baltimore, Maryland 1876 Private 20,174 1981 Blue Jays 12 (Global Universities) [1] Yes
McDaniel College Westminster, Maryland 1867 Private 1,559 1981 Green Terror 124 Yes
Muhlenberg College Allentown, Pennsylvania 1848 Private/
2,408 1981 Mules 81 Yes
Swarthmore College Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 1864 Private 1,543 1981 Garnet 3 No
Ursinus College Collegeville, Pennsylvania 1869 Private 1,556 1981 Bears 93 Yes
Washington College Chestertown, Maryland 1782 Private 1,479 1992 Shoremen (men's)
Shorewomen (women's)
108 No
  1. Bryn Mawr is a women's college.
  2. Johns Hopkins had affiliate membership for some sports in the University Athletic Association until the end of the 2000-01 season. Additionally, its men's and women's lacrosse teams do not play in the Centennial Conference, but instead play as Division I teams in the Big Ten Conference.

Affiliate members

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Nickname U.S. News
2017 for
Liberal Arts
Juniata College Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 1876 Private 1,568 2007 Eagles 106 Landmark football
United States Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point, New York 1943 U.S. Service
1,011 2003 Mariners NA Skyline wrestling
New York University New York City 1832 Private 22,280 2010 Violets 30 (National Universities) UAA wrestling
Moravian College Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 1742 Private 1,568 2007 Greyhounds 165 Landmark football
Susquehanna University Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania 1858 Private/
2,195 2010 River Hawks 141 Landmark football
Washington and Lee University Lexington, Virginia 1749 Private 1,830 1992 Generals 10 ODAC wrestling

Source for enrollment and rankings: [2]

Membership timeline


Teams compete in men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's track and field, wrestling, baseball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, softball and men's and women's tennis.


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