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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Thomas More University Approved for Membership to Join Division II Conference


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Thomas More University announced today that following a successful site visit in June of 2021, the University was unanimously approved for provisional membership in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, a Division II conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). 
 
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“As a key strategic initiative in the University’s strategic plan, Lighting the Way, we have spent the better part of the past year assessing this opportunity as we want to ensure that our student-athletes have the very best experience while we enhance the regional position of the University.  The decision to join the Great Midwest and apply for NCAA DII membership will greatly assist our efforts as we look to bolster our academic and athletic reputation in the region,” said President Joseph Chillo, LP.D.
 
The University currently competes in the Mid-South Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). “We have thoroughly enjoyed our experience in the NAIA and can’t say enough about how great the leadership of the Presidents, Athletic Directors, and NAIA staff have been to partner with. We are excited about this opportunity to apply for membership to the NCAA DII as it will elevate our athletic reputation and provide additional opportunities for our student-athletes,” said Terry Connor, Director of Athletics. 
 
Acceptance by the Great Midwest is the first step in the process of applying for membership in NCAA Division II. Over the next six months, the University will prepare a comprehensive feasibility study to further assess readiness to make this transition and will finalize an application for the NCAA by no later than February 1, 2022. 
 
“The Great Midwest is proud to welcome Thomas More University as a provisional member of the Conference,” said Great Midwest Commissioner Tom Daeger. “The Thomas More mission and profile aligns with the Great Midwest and the institution is well-positioned to take this step. It is evident the Saints are committed to continuing their history of athletic success within the Division II ranks. We look forward to working with President Chillo and his talented team as they implement their athletic vision and prepare their application for NCAA Division II membership.”
 
If approved to enter the NCAA Division II membership process, the University will become a provisional member of NCAA Division II and the Great Midwest for the 2022-23 academic year but will continue to compete in the NAIA for that period of time. The University will retain NAIA membership until the completion of the 2022-23 academic year and will complete two remaining years as provisional members of the Great Midwest and the NCAA. Beginning in the 2023-24 academic year, the University will compete in the Great Midwest and will be eligible for conference championships and tournaments. Upon successful completion of the NCAA Division II membership process, the University would be able to compete in NCAA tournaments starting in the 2025-26 academic year.

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