BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Sarah Lawrence and its varsity athletic programs will join the Skyline Conference, effective in the 2014-15 academic year, as announced jointly by Sarah Lawrence College President Karen Lawrence and Skyline Conference Commissioner Linda Bruno on Tuesday.

“We are proud to have this opportunity to compete in the Skyline Conference,” said Lawrence. “Our association with its member schools will allow our student-athletes to compete at high athletic levels while developing the leadership, teamwork and discipline skills that are vital to academic success.”

"Sarah Lawrence College will further enhance our league's commitment to academic and athletic excellence,” said Bruno. “I commend the Presidents' Council on an outstanding addition to the Skyline, and I look forward to their arrival.”

“This announcement comes with mixed emotions,” commented SLC Director of Athletics and Physical Education Kristin Maile. “Sarah Lawrence has long been a proud member of the Hudson Valley Conferences, and it is difficult to step away from that. At the same time, we're excited about forging new relationships within the Skyline Conference and about the benefits our membership will afford our current and future student-athletes.”

Formed in 1989, the Skyline Conference conducts championships in 17 sports –- nine for men and eight for women. Those championships include the SLC-sponsored sports of men's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer, women's softball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's swimming, and men's and women's volleyball.

The mission of the Skyline Conference includes embracing the NCAA Division III philosophy and fostering the growth of leadership opportunities for student-athletes. The statement also includes the ideal that participation in intercollegiate athletics develops “good sportsmanship, productive teamwork, and positive citizenship embracing cultural diversity and gender equity in the greater community.” Click here to read the full Skyline Conference Mission Statement.

At least one student-athlete from the Skyline has earned Academic All-America distinction in each of the past three semesters and 371 student-athletes from the conference were named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll for the 2012 Fall Semester.

As a recognized NCAA conference, Skyline champions are granted automatic qualification to NCAA Division III national championships in sports with automatic berths. Member schools also have access to additional NCAA grant money opportunities.

Sarah Lawrence's conference application was unanimously approved by the Skyline Conference Presidents' Council in March.

"The Skyline Conference is very pleased to welcome Sarah Lawrence College as a new member. Their presence will strengthen the Conference both academically and athletically, and we are looking forward to a long and mutually enriching relationship,” said St. Joseph's College President S. Elizabeth A. Hill, chair of the Skyline Presidents' Council.

The Skyline's current member schools are Farmingdale State, SUNY Maritime, Mount Saint Mary, Mount Saint Vincent, NYU Polytechnic, SUNY Old Westbury, Purchase, The Sage, Saint Joseph's (L.I.), and Yeshiva.

In 2013-14, Sarah Lawrence will complete its final year as a member of the Hudson Valley Men's Athletic Conference and Hudson Valley Women's Athletic Conference.

The College's equestrian team will remain a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), while men's and women's crew will retain membership in USRowing.