There's an old saying that life begins at forty, but with a rich four-decade history to look back on, the Northeast Conference (NEC) will spend the next year reflecting on how it got here. To kick off the celebration, NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris today unveiled the league's 40th Anniversary commemorative logo.
The mark will be prominently featured in all of the NEC's digital and social platforms throughout the 2020-21 academic year.
"The NEC truly came from humble beginnings, so there are no shortage of stories to be told as we look back at the remarkable evolution of the conference over the last 40 years," said Morris. "It's been said that history never looks like history when you are living through it, but now we have the opportunity to reflect, remember and honor all the NEC student-athletes, coaches, administrators and teams who pioneered and paved the way, and set the stage for an even brighter future in the years to come."
As the Conference pays tribute to its heritage, the yearlong celebration will be centered around a slew of 40th anniversary themed content, highlighted by the following:
I Was An NEC Student-Athlete
Catching up with former NEC student-athletes, who will reminisce about the games, people and moments that stand out in their minds, and offer updates on their lives post-graduation
NEC Mount Rushmore
Four players, one hypothetical mountain...the NEC selects four student-athletes from each sport who have made the biggest impact
NEC Hall Hangouts
Interviews with members of the NEC Hall of Fame
NFL Network style countdown of top NEC performers and teams with expert commentary from those who were there
NEC Memorable Moments
Former student-athletes, coaches, administrators & announcers talking about one particular game or special moment that still resonates
Made In The NEC
Catching up with those who received their start in the NEC and have gone on to successful careers
Recognizing those behind the scenes who have made a longtime and significant impact in the conference
Front Row Rewind
Airing memorable games from NEC Front Row's eight-year archive of more than 5,000 games
Back In Session
Re-airing episodes of Holding Court, the popular halftime hoops show hosted by Tim Capstraw that ran for more than a decade starting in the late 90s
On This Day
Date-specific events from the NEC's 40-year history
When the Northeast Conference was first established as the ECAC-Metro Conference in 1981, the league's founders had one simple goal in mind: to create a competitive Division I men's basketball conference for unaffiliated schools - which included charter members and current NEC institutions Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner - on the Eastern seaboard. A single-sport entity at its inception, even the league's most ardent supporters during its formative years could not have envisioned a transformation into a burgeoning 10-member, 24-sport conference. Now, 40 years later, membership and sport sponsorship continues to grow and access to NCAA automatic bids has expanded to 16 sports.
While times have changed, the goals of the Conference have remained remarkably consistent over the past 40 years. The NEC and its member institutions remain committed to enhancing the experience of its student-athletes, while operating programs that are fully integrated in the academic mission of each institution. Likewise, the Conference continually strives to be an NCAA Division I leader for student-athlete achievement, academic excellence, integrity, sportsmanship, diversity, equity and inclusion, innovation, community partnership and national engagement.
About The Northeast Conference
Beginning its 40th anniversary season, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout seven states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to a number of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Boston (#9), Baltimore (#26), Hartford/New Haven (#33) and Providence (#53). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 24 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic access to 16 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU, Merrimack, Mount St. Mary's, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league's official website (www.northeastconference.org) and digital network (www.necfrontrow.com), or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, all @NECsports.