The Summit League announced the addition of Oral Roberts University as its ninth full-time member Thursday. ORU’s membership officially begins July 1, 2014, and all 16 Golden Eagle athletics programs will compete in The Summit League starting with the 2014-15 academic year.
“We are excited to have Oral Roberts University join The Summit League for the 2014-15 season,” said Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple. “ORU brings very strong and well-rounded athletic and academic programs to our league.”
“The Presidents Council unanimously supported Oral Roberts University’s return to The Summit League,” said Dr. Dean L. Bresciani, North Dakota State University President and Chair of The Summit League’s Presidents Council. “It is an indication of the enthusiasm the council has for the opportunity to enhance our membership.”
“ORU is excited about returning to The Summit League and its distinguished member institutions,” said Oral Roberts University Director of Athletics Mike Carter. “We look forward to renewing the rivalries we developed during our 15 years in the conference and to continuing the proud tradition of The Summit League.”
ORU was a member of The Summit League from 1997-2012 and has continued to compete as an affiliate member in men’s soccer each of the past two years. During its 15 years in the league, the Golden Eagles won nine Commissioner Cups, awarded to the league’s top overall athletics program, 91 league championships and 49 regular season crowns.
The ORU men’s basketball program captured three consecutive Summit League Tournament titles from 2006-08 and won or shared six regular season championships. The Golden Eagles won 15 consecutive Summit League women’s golf championships and 15 straight baseball tournament championships, the top two team streaks in league history.
A pair of ORU athletes combined to win three individual NCAA Track and Field Championships for The Summit League over the past decade. In 2008, Andretti Bain won both the Indoor and Outdoor 400-meter Championships. Four years later, Jack Whitt won the NCAA Outdoor Pole Vault Championship.
Founded in 1963, Oral Roberts University has an enrollment of 3,403 and offers more than 60 undergraduate majors, as well as 13 master’s-level programs and two doctoral degrees. Based in Tulsa, Okla., ORU becomes the fourth Summit League institution located in top 60 U.S. metro populations.