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Eleven private colleges compose the Centennial Conference. Five of ten members of the Centennial Conference rank among the top 50 national liberal arts colleges and Johns Hopkins University is tied for tenth among national universities.
On average, Centennial members sponsor 19 varsity teams. Conference members have won thirteen NCAA team titles: Johns Hopkins women's cross country (2012, 2013, 2014), Gettysburg women's lacrosse (2011, 2017, 2018), Haverford men's cross country (2010), Franklin & Marshall women's lacrosse (2007, 2009), Ursinus field hockey (2006), Washington men's lacrosse (1998), and Washington men's tennis (1994, 1997).
According to the Centennial Conference's web site: "On June 4, 1981, Keith Spalding, then-president of Franklin & Marshall College, made the announcement that "eight private colleges found it timely and appropriate to form a round-robin football schedule among institutions with similar attitudes and practices in intercollegiate football competition." With that statement, the Centennial Conference was born. Those private colleges were Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, Johns Hopkins University, Muhlenberg College, Swarthmore College, Ursinus College, and Western Maryland College (later renamed and now known as McDaniel College).
The conference moved from a football-only conference to an all-sports conference after a 1991 feasibility study. The study also recommended to expand from eight schools to eleven. The other schools recommended were Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, and Washington College. Those three schools accepted and became charter members in 1992 as the conference expanded its sports offerings.
- Bryn Mawr is a women's college.
- Johns Hopkins had affiliate membership for some sports in the University Athletic Association until the end of the 2000-01 season. Additionally, its men's and women's lacrosse teams do not play in the Centennial Conference, but instead play as Division I teams in the Big Ten Conference.
|Juniata College||Huntingdon, Pennsylvania||1876||Private||1,568||2007||Eagles||106||Landmark||football|
|United States Merchant Marine Academy||Kings Point, New York||1943||U.S. Service
|New York University||New York City||1832||Private||22,280||2010||Violets||30 (National Universities)||UAA||wrestling|
|Moravian College||Bethlehem, Pennsylvania||1742||Private||1,568||2007||Greyhounds||165||Landmark||football|
|Susquehanna University||Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania||1858||Private/
|Stevens Institute of Technology||Hoboken, New Jersey||1870||Private||2,040||2003||Ducks||69 (National University)||Empire 8
(MAC Freedom in 2019)
|Washington and Lee University||Lexington, Virginia||1749||Private||1,830||1992||Generals||10||ODAC||wrestling|
Source for enrollment and rankings: 
Teams compete in men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's track and field, wrestling, baseball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, softball and men's and women's tennis.
- "2018 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges". U.S. News & World Report..