The ACC Board of Directors voted today to formally admit the University of California, Berkeley (Cal), Southern Methodist University (SMU) and Stanford University to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Cal, SMU and Stanford will join the ACC as full members with full voting participation effective July 1, 2024 (SMU) and August 2, 2024 (Stanford and Cal). The decision followed the submission of letters of application from all three institutions.
The additions of Cal, SMU and Stanford enhance and strengthen the ACC academically, athletically and financially as well as create true national conference that spans coast to coast. The incoming universities enrich the league’s competitiveness in all sports and further demonstrate the ACC’s commitment to broad-based programs for both women and men. More than 2,200 student-athletes from Cal, SMU and Stanford will join the nearly 10,000 current ACC student-athletes competing at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.
“This is a significant day for the ACC as we welcome Cal, SMU and Stanford to this incredible conference,” said University of Virginia President James E. Ryan, chair of the ACC Board of Directors. “This expansion will enhance and strengthen the league now and in the future. We greatly appreciate the tireless efforts of Commissioner Jim Phillips throughout this entire process, especially his focus on minimizing travel burdens for student-athletes, and we are excited about the ACC’s collective future.”
“We are thrilled to welcome three world-class institutions to the ACC, and we look forward to having them compete as part of our amazing league,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “Throughout the evaluation process, the ACC Board of Directors, led by President Ryan, was deliberate in prioritizing the best possible athletic and academic experience for our student-athletes and in ensuring that the three universities would strengthen the league in all possible ways. Cal, SMU and Stanford will be terrific members of the ACC and we are proud to welcome their student-athletes, coaches, staff and entire campus community, alumni and fans.”
“We are very pleased with the outcome, which will support the best interests of our student-athletes and aligns with Berkeley’s values,” said University of California-Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ. “We are confident that the ACC and its constituent institutions are an excellent match for our university and will provide an elite competitive context for our student-athletes in this changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics. I want to thank UC president Michael Drake, Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton, and ACC commissioner Jim Phillips, for the partnership, hard work, and leadership that made this agreement possible.”
“This is a transformational day for SMU,” said President R. Gerald Turner. Becoming a member of the ACC will positively impact all aspects of the collegiate experience on the Hilltop and will raise SMU’s profile on a national level. We want to thank everyone who has helped position SMU for this important moment. Joining the ACC is an historic milestone in our institution’s history, and the start of a new chapter in SMU Athletics.”
“Stanford welcomes the invitation extended by the ACC member universities, and we are excited to join them beginning in 2024,” said Stanford University President Richard P. Saller. “Student-athletes come to Stanford to pursue their highest academic and athletic potential, and joining the ACC gives us the ability to continue offering them that opportunity at a national level. We appreciate the dedicated efforts of Commissioner Jim Phillips and the leaders of the ACC member institutions to create this promising path forward.”
Cal, SMU and Stanford will begin competing in the ACC across their respective sponsored sports beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year. The ACC leads all Autonomy 5 conferences with 15 women’s sports offerings and no conference offers more than the league’s 28 total sponsored sports.
About University of California, Berkeley:
The University of California, Berkeley, is consistently rated the world’s top public university. The flagship of the 10-campus University of California system, it was chartered in 1868 with a mission to excel in teaching, research and public service. Enrolling more than 42,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the campus has more than 1,500 full-time and 500 part-time faculty members in more than 130 academic departments that offer more than 350 degree programs. The faculty’s outstanding research achievements and scholarship so far have led to 26 Nobel Prizes, and an additional 35 Nobel Prizes have been won by alumni.
Cal Athletics is a broad-based NCAA Division I athletic department that sponsors 30 varsity sports and includes over 900 student-athletes. The department has approximately 300 staff members. Cal Athletics has produced 103 team national championships and 223 Olympic medals. Notable alums include Aaron Rodgers, Jason Kidd, Natalie Coughlin, Marshawn Lynch, Jaylen Brown, Layshia Clarendon and more.
About Southern Methodist University:
SMU is the nationally ranked global research university in the dynamic city of Dallas. SMU’s alumni, faculty and more than 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit as they lead change in their professions, communities and the world.
In the classroom and on the field, SMU Athletics is driving excellence and growth to be among the best athletics programs in the country. SMU brings the highest level of collegiate competition to Dallas, which was recently named the No. 1 city for sports business by the Sports Business Journal, and continues to build on recent success, with all 17 programs reaching the postseason and 15 programs winning conference championships since 2013. SMU is the only NCAA FBS program in Dallas, and has claimed nine overall national championships, almost 200 team conference championships, over 100 individual national championships, more than 150 NCAA top-10 finishes, nearly 2,000 All-American honors and over 150 Olympic appearances. Since 2013, SMU has invested over $250 million to develop and enhance championship-caliber facilities.
About Stanford University:
Stanford University, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a place of discovery, creativity, and innovation that is recognized internationally for excellence in teaching, research, and medical care. Stanford’s campus is home to seven schools, a distinguished faculty that includes 20 living Nobel laureates, and more than 7,700 undergraduates and 9,500 graduate students. Stanford’s Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation leads the nation with 134 NCAA team championships, has won the Women’s Capital One Cup four of the last six years, and has achieved the LEARFIELD Directors’ Cup for 26 of the 29 possible seasons. Nearly 900 Cardinal student-athletes compete as members of 36 intercollegiate athletics teams.
About the Atlantic Coast Conference: The Atlantic Coast Conference, now in its 71st year of competition and 15 members strong, has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. ACC members Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest continue to build upon the cornerstones on which the league was founded in 1953 with a consistent balance of academics, athletics and integrity. The ACC currently sponsors 28 NCAA sports – 15 for women and 13 for men – with member institutions located in 10 states. In August 2019, ESPN and the ACC partnered to launch ACC Network (ACCN), a 24/7 national network dedicated to ACC sports and league-wide original programming.