COLUMBUS, Miss. — The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference President’s Council officially announced today the acceptance of Mississippi University for Women as a full co-educational member institution beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year.

The W will become the ninth member of the SLIAC and will begin competition in all 17 women’s and men’s conference sponsored championship sports in their inaugural year. 

"The President's Council of the SLIAC would like to welcome MUW into the conference and thank the conference commissioner and his staff for working diligently with MUW on their application over the past 18 months," said Greenville University President Suzanne Davis, executive chair of the SLIAC President's Council Executive Committee. "We have greatly appreciated getting to know President Nora Miller, interim Athletic Director Buddy Foster and many other members of The W team throughout the application process. We feel that MUW is a great fit with the mission and vision of the SLIAC as it seeks to grow their Division III athletic programs while keeping a holistic view of the student-athlete experience."

"The SLIAC is elated to have another new member institution join the conference and help provide a stable conference membership. In the past 18 months, the SLIAC has seen some significant changes in its previous membership and the addition of MUW will once again stabilize the conference at 9 full member institutions," said SLIAC Commissioner Dr. Dick Kaiser. "In looking at possible SLIAC members over the past three years, there hasn't been much movement within the various national organizations as it relates to membership. Therefore, when MUW first reached out to the SLIAC close to two years ago and inquired about the possibility of membership, it opened up some real opportunities for the conference for the future."

MUW President Nora Miller said, “I am proud and delighted that we were invited to join the SLIAC.  As a native St. Louisan, I’ve known of several of these institutions growing up, and it has been wonderful meeting virtually with the SLIAC staff and the presidents.  I look forward to the relationships that will grow between our organizations, our athletes and our coaches.”

Buddy Foster, interim director of athletics and campus recreation, added, “I am thrilled for our student-athletes who will get to experience conference play in 2022-23. Being able to play for conference championships and an NCAA post-season berth only enhances their athletic experience. I was fortunate enough to coach at another SLIAC member school and understand how special this opportunity is for our student-athletes, coaches and university. I appreciate the guidance given by Commissioner Dick Kaiser to myself and President Miller throughout the process.

The W is located 434 miles from the St. Louis metro area. The institution is currently completing its provisional NCAA status as it transitions to become a full member of the NCAA Division III in September 2022. A co-ed public institution, The W reinstated its athletic program in 2017 with the addition of both women’s and men’s sports after a 14-year hiatus. 

"The President's Council and the Conference Office obviously realize that MUW does not fit into the current geographic footprint of the other conference institutions, but everyone felt the opportunity to gain another quality liberal arts-based member institution of such a high academic profile and a complete sports program was worth our efforts to be creative with our scheduling and championships," said Kaiser.

 During the past several years, The W has worked diligently to refurbish and develop some quality athletic facilities that will be comparable to many other current SLIAC facilities within the conference. The university most recently competed against several SLIAC schools this past season in both softball and volleyball. The institution’s athletic programs are currently competing as an independent and the institution has an enrollment of 2,789 students with a strong academic emphasis in nursing, health administration, education and business.