The NCAA's Division I Council has voted in favor of allowing the University of St. Thomas to make the leap from Division III to Division I, effectively paving the path to let the Tommies depart the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and join the a trio of DI leagues beginning with the 2021-22 academic year.
The majority of UST's teams will join the Summit League, while football will enter the Pioneer League and women's hockey makes the jump to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).
"Our St. Thomas community is excited to embark on this journey of building Minnesota's first private D-I collegiate athletics program and the second D-I program in the state," said Julie Sullivan, president of UST, in a statement.
"St. Thomas has a long history of academic and athletic excellence and embracing change with an entrepreneurial spirit. This move continues that trajectory."
Saint Thomas was voted out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 13 months ago, with the majority of member presidents citing an unfair competitive advantage for the St. Paul-based university.
The Summit League is currently comprised of nine schools: Denver, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, Purdue Fort Wayne, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Western Illinois.
The conference's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.