NCAA Presidents Council Taps Suffolk’s Kelly

Suffolk leader newest university president to serve on Division III governing body
President Kelly celebrates at center ice  with the 2023 Commonwealth Coast Conference champion Suffolk women’s hockey team.
President Marisa Kelly celebrates at center ice with the 2023 Commonwealth Coast Conference champion Suffolk women’s hockey team.

Suffolk University President Marisa Kelly has been named to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Presidents Council. Her appointment was announced at the national NCAA Convention, held January 11 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The NCAA Presidents Council is the highest governing body in Division III. It implements policies adopted by the NCAA Board of Governors and may sponsor amendments to the NCAA Constitution. It also establishes and directs the general policies of the division, while also overseeing the division’s budget and establishing its strategic priorities.

Kelly—who is one of just 18 college and university presidents serving on the council, which represents more than 400 DIII schools and over 180,000 student-athletes—said she was honored by the appointment.

“Intercollegiate athletics fosters leadership, collaboration, and competition with integrity. Here at Suffolk, we’ve witnessed firsthand the tremendous heart, determination, and team-first spirit that DIII student-athletes bring to competition, and how that spirit can energize an entire college community,” she said. “I’m excited to serve on this national body, to learn more and to help DIII student-athletes across the country continue to grow and prosper on the competitive playing field, in the classroom, and within their personal lives.”

Athletics are an essential part of the overall educational experience at Suffolk University, whose 20 DIII varsity intercollegiate athletic teams compete in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. With over 340 student-athletes (including 49 dual-sport athletes and over a dozen international athletes), the Rams strive to be a DIII athletics program that prioritizes both athletic and academic excellence.

Suffolk Athletics teams have combined to capture 23 conference championships and five regional championships. The Rams have also produced 23 All-Americans and seven Academic All-Americans. And thanks to the strong emphasis of “academics-first,” the Athletics Department holds a 3.33 GPA across all sports.  

“We’re thrilled to see President Kelly take her seat on the NCAA Division III Presidents Council,” said Suffolk Director of Athletics Cary McConnell. “She has been an integral part of the growth of athletics at Suffolk University and also within the Commonwealth Coast Conference, and we look forward to her larger role on the national committee.”


Tony Ferullo
Office of Public Affairs

Greg Gatlin
Office of Public Affairs