SAA Welcomes Southwestern University and Trinity University (Texas) as Full-time Members - Southern Athletic Association Skip To Main Content

Southern Athletic Association

SAA Welcomes Southwestern University and Trinity University (Texas) as Full-time Members

3/9/2023 10:50:03 AM

ATLANTA, Ga. (March 9, 2023) – The Southern Athletic Association announces that Southwestern University and Trinity University (Texas) will join the league starting Fall 2025, bringing the conference’s membership to 10 institutions.

The SAA President’s Council voted unanimously in favor of adding both institutions to the conference.  According to its chair, Dr. Steve Briggs of Berry College, “both institutions align perfectly with the SAA in valuing a residential model of education that emphasizes and integrates high-quality academic and athletic programs.  Both universities are nationally competitive, and this expansion will establish the SAA as one of the premier Division III conferences.”  

As full members, Southwestern and Trinity are eligible to compete for championships in the 23 sports sponsored by the SAA. Trinity has been an affiliate member of the SAA in football since 2017, winning the last two championships with undefeated conference records. Southwestern is set to join SAA football as an affiliate for the 2023 season. 

“The addition of both Southwestern and Trinity to the Southern Athletic Association is exciting for all of us,” added SAA Commissioner Jay Gardiner. “These great institutions will add to the conference’s already strong athletic reputation while emphasizing the integrity of our academic missions. We welcome them both to our family.”

The Southern Athletic Association is committed to fostering athletic competition and cooperation among academically selective, residential liberal arts colleges located in the southern United States. Founded in 2011, its members embrace varsity athletics as an integral part of the campus experience offering meaningful opportunities for self-understanding, commitment, mastery, maturation and leadership.  Core SAA members are Berry College, Birmingham-Southern College, Centre College, Hendrix College, Millsaps College, Oglethorpe University, Rhodes College, and the University of the South—Sewanee.  The SAA sponsors sports in baseball, M&W basketball, M&W cross country, field hockey. M&W golf, M&W lacrosse, M&W soccer, softball, M&W swimming & diving, M&W tennis, M&W track & field and volleyball.

In the midst of the “Silicon Hills” near Austin, Texas, Southwestern University is a place for unparalleled learning experiences and career opportunities. Our graduates serve the world as artists and scholars, Pulitzer prize-winning journalists and noted authors, senators and congressmen, scientists and physicians, musicians and athletes—leaders in their fields and in their communities. Established in 1840 as the first institution of higher learning in Texas, Southwestern is investing more than $120 million over the next three years in capital projects while embarking on plans to create a liberal arts-inspired city on more than 500 acres contiguous to campus. With applications and selectivity at an all-time high, Southwestern looks to its third century continuing as a national leader in liberal arts education.

Trinity University is a national liberal arts university in San Antonio, the nation’s 7th largest and most diverse city, where students learn from and participate in a multicultural urban environment. Trinity University’s endowment is valued at $1.7 billion, and the University’s student profile reflects that of a highly selective national liberal arts institution, with students hailing from 47 states and 40 different countries. For the Class of 2026, Trinity received 11,416 applications, admitted 31% of those who applied, and enrolled 665 first-year students, 49% of whom were students of color. With our combined talents, strengths, ambitions, and passions, we are doing more than waiting for a brighter tomorrow: We’re making a better one today.