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Edward Waters University Joins NCAA Division II

Edward Waters University
University President A. Zachary Faison announces that EWU's NCAA acceptance during a press conference on July 19, 2021.

The recently renamed Edward Waters University is joining the NCAA for the first time in the school’s 155-year history.

EWU will be joining the NCAA Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), announced University President A. Zachary Faison during a Monday press conference.


Edward Waters previously played in the NAIA Division I, which offers less sports and has less schools than the NCAA. The university’s teams will be permitted to play against other Division II teams starting this fall.


EWU previously was named Edward Waters College, but changed its name after it became accredited to offer Master’s programs last month.  


The university was first opened in 1865 under the name Brown Theological Institute. It was Florida’s first historically black college as the first institution established for the education of African Americans. It is also the state’s oldest independent institution of higher learning.

Tristan Wood can be reached at or on Twitter at @TristanDWood.

Tristan is WJCT’s 2021 Summer Reporting Intern. He has previously worked as the City and County Commission reporter for the Independent Florida Alligator, Gainesville’s student-run newspaper, and Fresh Take Florida, a news service working in partnership with the Associated Press to cover the Florida Legislature and select political news stories across the state.