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Today marks the official start of BU’s membership in the Patriot League, more than a year after the University announced that its athletic program would be leaving the America East conference. To commemorate the historic move, Mayor Thomas M. Menino has declared today, July 1, 2013, “Boston University and Patriot League Day” in Boston.

“Boston University Athletics is a source of pride for students and Boston residents alike, and this year’s move to the Patriot League will only expand on the outstanding opportunities BU provides for its student-athletes,” says Menino (Hon.’01). “I’m proud to declare Monday, July 1st, Boston University and Patriot League Day in the City of Boston and I look forward to cheering on all the teams in the coming school year.”

Michael Lynch, BU assistant vice president and director of athletics, says that while competition in the new league will be challenging, it is an opportunity the Terriers are looking forward to.

“This is a historically transformative time for BU Athletics with so much ‘new’ here in our program, including the opening of New Balance Field, the start of our men’s lacrosse program and, of course, our new affiliation with one of the most well-respected and competitive Division I leagues in the nation,” Lynch says. “BU sports fans have a great deal to look forward to this coming year.”

BU becomes the Patriot League’s ninth full member, a move that reflects the University’s commitment to both academic and athletic excellence. It leaves behind the America East conference, of which it was a founding member in 1979.

Men’s and women’s ice hockey will remain in Hockey East, one of the nation’s premier collegiate hockey conferences. Because the Patriot League does not sponsor men’s rowing or wrestling, BU teams in those sports will remain in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges and the Colonial Athletic Association, respectively.

In joining the Patriot League, BU student-athletes will be competing against teams from American University, Army, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola, and Navy.

The move to the new league underscores the University’s commitment to both academic and athletic excellence.