|Members||13 (8 full, 5 associate)|
|Former names||Independent College Athletic Conference (1964–1991)|
Empire Athletic Association (1991–1999)
|Headquarters||Rochester, New York|
|Commissioner||Chuck Mitrano (since 2001)|
The Empire 8 (E8) is an intercollegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA's Division III. The E8 sponsors intercollegiate athletic competition in men's baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, women's field hockey, men's football, men's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, women's softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and women's volleyball. The E8 shares offices with the United Volleyball Conference, a separate Division III league that competes solely in men's volleyball.
The Empire 8 can trace its beginnings back to 1964 with the founding of the Independent College Athletic Conference (ICAC). At this time, the conference was made up of Alfred University, Clarkson University, Hobart College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), St. Lawrence University, and Union College. After Union left the league, Ithaca College and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) joined the ICAC.
In 1991, the ICAC regrouped to become the Empire Athletic Association (EAA), with Clarkson leaving and Hartwick College joining to replace the spot. Hobart/William Smith, RPI, and St. Lawrence left in 1993, to be replaced by Elmira College, Nazareth College, and Utica College. Alfred re-joined and St. John Fisher College joined the league in 1998.
The EAA became the Empire 8 Athletic Conference in 1999, hosting 13 sports.
Stevens Institute of Technology joined as a field hockey member beginning in 2006 and became a full member in 2007. RIT announced on June 5, 2009 that it planned to leave the Empire 8 for the Liberty League beginning in the fall of the 2011-12 season. Houghton College announced that they would join the Empire 8 in the 2012-13 season as they transitioned from a NAIA school to NCAA Division III status; they became full D-III members in 2016.
The most recent changes to the conference's membership were announced in the 2018-19 school year. First, Stevens announced in August 2018 that it would leave the E8 at the end of the 2018-19 school year to rejoin the Middle Atlantic Conferences after an absence of more than 40 years. Stevens joined the MAC's Freedom Conference. In January 2019, the E8 announced that Stevens would eventually be replaced by Keuka College in 2020-21, and in March, The Sage Colleges merged Russell Sage College and Sage College of Albany, effectively making the former women-only Russell Sage co-educational in fall 2020.
On July 15, 2020, the Empire 8 Conference postponed all fall sports, but provided conference championships in those sports in spring 2021.
Full member institutions are listed immediately below.
|Alfred University||Alfred, New York||Saxons||1836||Private||2,055||1964,
|Elmira College||Elmira, New York||Soaring Eagles||1855||Private||1,170||1993||No|
|Hartwick College||Oneonta, New York||Hawks||1797||Private||1,600||1991||Yes|
|Houghton College||Houghton, New York||Highlanders||1883||Private||1,415||2012||No|
|Keuka College||Keuka Park, New York||Wolves||1890||Private||1,650||2020||No|
|Nazareth College||Pittsford, New York||Golden Flyers||1924||Private||3,140||1993||No|
|Russell Sage College||Albany and Troy, New York||Gators||1916||Private||1,600||2017||No|
|St. John Fisher College||Rochester, New York||Cardinals||1948||Private||4,008||1998||Yes|
|Utica College||Utica, New York||Pioneers||1946||Private||3,105||1993||Yes|
|Institution||Location||Nickname||Founded||Type||Enrollment||Joined||Primary conference||Empire 8 sport|
|State University of New York at Brockport||Brockport, New York||Golden Eagles||1867||Public||8,275||2014-15||SUNYAC||football|
|State University of New York at Cortland||Cortland, New York||Red Dragons||1868||Public||6,199||2015-16||SUNYAC||football|
|Morrisville State College||Morrisville, New York||Mustangs||1908||Public||3,356||2015-16||NEAC||football|
|Washington & Jefferson College||Washington, Pennsylvania||Presidents||1781||Private||1,519||2002-03||Presidents'||field hockey|
|Clarkson University||Potsdam, New York||Golden Knights||1896||Private||3,539||1964||1991||Liberty|
|Hobart and William Smith Colleges||Geneva, New York||Statesmen (Hobart)
Herons (William Smith)
1908 (William Smith)
|Ithaca College||Ithaca, New York||Bombers||1892||Private||6,800||1971||2017||Liberty|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy, New York||Engineers||1824||Private||7,521||1964||1993||Liberty|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Henrietta, New York||Tigers||1829||Private||17,652||1971||2011||Liberty|
|The Sage Colleges
Sage College of Albany (co-ed)
|Albany, New York||Gators||1949||Private||1,600||2017||2020||None (Merged into|
Russell Sage College)
|St. Lawrence University||Canton, New York||Saints||1856||Private||2,431||1964||1993||Liberty|
|Stevens Institute of Technology||Hoboken, New Jersey||Ducks||1870||Private||5,260||2007||2019||MAC Freedom|
|Union College||Schenectady, New York||Dutchmen (men's)
|Institution||Location||Nickname||Founded||Type||Enrollment||Joined||Left||Primary conference||Empire 8 sport|
|Frostburg State University||Frostburg, Maryland||Bobcats||1898||Public||6,133||2011-12||2015-16||MEC
|Salisbury University||Salisbury, Maryland||Sea Gulls||1925||Public||8,606||2011-12||2015-16||C2C||football|
|Springfield College||Springfield, Massachusetts||Pride||1885||Private||5,062||2002-03||2011-12||NEWMAC||football|
|Buffalo State College||Buffalo, New York||Bengals||1871||Public||11,659||2012-13||2018-19||SUNYAC||football|