ELMHURST, Ill. – The Summit League welcomes its ninth member, Oral Roberts University, today. ORU, which had announced its return to The Summit League in December 2013, is the first institution from the most recent wave of conference realignment to return to its original league.
The Golden Eagles, a Summit League member from 1997-2012, compete in 16 sports and have immediate eligibility for all league championships and NCAA automatic bids. During its previous 15 years in The Summit League, ORU won nine Commissioner’s Cups, awarded to the league’s top overall athletics program, 91 league championships and 49 regular season crowns.
“We are pleased to officially have Oral Roberts University back in The Summit League,” said Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple. “With an established record of success in our league, ORU strengthens our membership and enhances the level of competition across our nine institutions.”
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.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
In its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 65 All-Americans, 60 Academic All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level.