The Midwest Lacrosse Conference and Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference will add Lake Forest College to the membership in the 2022 season the leagues announced.
"We are very pleased to have Lake Forest College join the MLC and MWLC," said G. Steven Larson, commissioner of the MLC and MWLC. "They bring a strong commitment from both an academic and an athletics standpoint. Lake Forest is a positive addition as DIII lacrosse continues to grow in both conferences and the Midwest region geographically."
The Foresters' men's and women's lacrosse teams will become varsity athletics programs in the 2021-22 academic year.
"We are very excited to elevate lacrosse to varsity status," Lake Forest College Vice President for Career Advancement and Athletics Jackie Slaats said. "Our club teams have been successful for years and we're confident they can quickly become highly competitive varsity programs in conference competition and at the NCAA Division III level."
The men's and women's club teams have been extremely successful over the past several years. The College's club teams will continue competing in the Great Lakes Lacrosse League (men) and Women's Collegiate Lacrosse League through the 2021 season. The College also sponsored men's lacrosse as a varsity sport for 12 years before it was discontinued in 1994 due to the lack of collegiate competition in the area.
Founded in 1857, Lake Forest College is a selective residential, national liberal arts institution located 30 miles north of downtown Chicago.
Additional changes to the MLC and MWLC membership include the withdrawal of Aurora University, Benedictine University, Concordia University Chicago, Concordia University Wisconsin, Illinois Tech, Marian University and MSOE at the conclusion of the upcoming 2020 season. The schools will compete in their core conference, the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, beginning the 2021 season.
Lake Forest will join the following members of the MLC in 2022: Beloit College, Cornell College, Fontbonne University, Monmouth College, North Central University and University of Northwestern; and the following member of the MWLC: Augsburg University, Beloit College, Cornell College, Hamline University, Loras College, Monmouth College, University of Northwestern and Wartburg College.
Both NCAA Division III member conferences, the MLC began play in 2010 while the MWLC started play in 2011.