Empire 8

The Empire 8 (E8) is an intercollegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA's Division III. The E8 sponsors intercollegiate athletic competition in men's baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, women's field hockey, men's football, men's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, women's softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and women's volleyball. The E8 shares offices with the United Volleyball Conference, a separate Division III league that competes solely in men's volleyball.

Empire 8
DivisionDivision III
Members13 (8 full, 5 associate)
Sports fielded
  • 22
    • men's: 11
    • women's: 11
RegionNew York, New Jersey
Former namesIndependent College Athletic Conference (19641991)
Empire Athletic Association (19911999)
HeadquartersRochester, New York
CommissionerChuck Mitrano (since 2001)

About the Empire 8

The Empire 8 can trace its beginnings back to 1964 with the founding of the Independent College Athletic Conference (ICAC). At this time, the conference was made up of Alfred University, Clarkson University, Hobart College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), St. Lawrence University, and Union College. After Union left the league, Ithaca College and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) joined the ICAC.

In 1991, the ICAC regrouped to become the Empire Athletic Association (EAA), with Clarkson leaving and Hartwick College joining to replace the spot. Hobart/William Smith, RPI, and St. Lawrence left in 1993, to be replaced by Elmira College, Nazareth College, and Utica College. Alfred re-joined and St. John Fisher College joined the league in 1998.

The EAA became the Empire 8 Athletic Conference in 1999, hosting 13 sports.

Stevens Institute of Technology joined as a field hockey member beginning in 2006 and became a full member in 2007. RIT announced on June 5, 2009 that it planned to leave the Empire 8 for the Liberty League beginning in the fall of the 2011–12 season. Houghton College announced that they would join the Empire 8 in the 2012–13 season as they transitioned from a NAIA school to NCAA Division III status; they became full D-III members in 2016.

The most recent changes to the conference's membership were announced in the 2018–19 school year. First, Stevens announced in August 2018 that it would leave the E8 at the end of the 2018–19 school year to rejoin the Middle Atlantic Conferences after an absence of more than 40 years. Stevens joined the MAC's Freedom Conference.[1] In January 2019, the E8 announced that Stevens would eventually be replaced by Keuka College in 2020–21.[2]

Member schools

Current members

Full member institutions are listed immediately below.

Institution Location Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joined Football?
Alfred University Alfred, New York Saxons 1836 Private 2,055 1964,
Elmira College Elmira, New York Soaring Eagles 1855 Private 1,170 1993 No
Hartwick College Oneonta, New York Hawks 1797 Private 1,600 1991 Yes
Houghton College Houghton, New York Highlanders 1883 Private 1,415 2012 No
Nazareth College Pittsford, New York Golden Flyers 1924 Private 3,140 1993 No
The Sage Colleges
Sage College of Albany (coed)
Russell Sage College (women's)
Albany, New York
Troy, New York
Gators 1916 Private 2,832 2017 No
St. John Fisher College Pittsford, New York Cardinals 1948 Private 4,008 1998 Yes
Utica College Utica, New York Pioneers 1946 Private 3,105 1993 Yes

Future member

Institution Location Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joining Football?
Keuka College Keuka Park, New York Wolves 1890 Private 1,650 2020 No

Affiliate members

Institution Location Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joined Primary Conference Empire 8 Sport
State University of New York at Brockport Brockport, New York Golden Eagles 1867 Public 8,275 2014–15 SUNYAC football
State University of New York at Cortland Cortland, New York Red Dragons 1868 Public 6,199 2015–16 SUNYAC football
Morrisville State College Morrisville, New York Mustangs 1908 Public 3,356 2015–16 NEAC football
Washington & Jefferson College Washington, Pennsylvania Presidents 1781 Private 1,519 2002–03 Presidents' field hockey

Former members

Institution Location Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Current Conference
Clarkson University Potsdam, New York Golden Knights 1896 Private 3,539 1964 1991 Liberty
Hobart and William Smith Colleges Geneva, New York Statesmen (Hobart)
Herons (William Smith)
1822 (Hobart)
1908 (William Smith)
Private 2,118 1964 1993 Liberty
Ithaca College Ithaca, New York Bombers 1892 Private 6,800 1971 2017 Liberty
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, New York Engineers 1824 Private 7,521 1964 1993 Liberty
Rochester Institute of Technology Henrietta, New York Tigers 1829 Private 17,652 1971 2011 Liberty
St. Lawrence University Canton, New York Saints 1856 Private 2,431 1964 1993 Liberty
Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, New Jersey Ducks 1870 Private 5,260 2007 2019 MAC Freedom
Union College Schenectady, New York Dutchmen (men's)
Dutchwomen (women's)
1795 Private 2,194 1964 1971 Liberty

Former affiliate members

Institution Location Nickname Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left Primary Conference Empire 8 Sport
Frostburg State University Frostburg, Maryland Bobcats 1898 Public 6,133 2011–12 2015–16 Mountain East
(Division II)
Salisbury University Salisbury, Maryland Sea Gulls 1925 Public 8,606 2011–12 2015–16 Capital football
Springfield College[3] Springfield, Massachusetts Pride 1885 Private 5,062 2002–03 2011–12 NEWMAC football
Buffalo State College Buffalo, New York Bengals 1871 Public 11,659 2012–13 2018-19 SUNYAC football

Membership timeline



  1. "MAC Welcomes Stevens Institute of Technology Back in 2019-20" (Press release). Middle Atlantic Conferences. August 15, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  2. "Keuka College to Join the Empire 8 Conference Beginning in the Fall of 2020" (Press release). Empire 8 Conference. January 30, 2019. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  3. Springfield College To Join The Liberty League As Associate Member in Football Archived 2010-02-10 at the Wayback Machine
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