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The school’s athletic teams are called the Ephs (rhymes with “chiefs”), a shortening of the first name of founder Ephraim Williams. Williams College sponsors 32 varsity athletic programs. The college is a Division III member institution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
Through June of 2015 Williams has won 18 of 20 Directors’ Cups awarded in NCAA Division III, including a streak of 13 in a row from 1999-2011. With more than 300 schools each year scoring points, the Directors’ Cup is emblematic of athletic superiority and points in the Cup competition are awarded based on a school’s finish in NCAA post-season team championships. Williams won the first Directors’ Cup awarded in 1996 and repeated in 1997. The Directors’ Cup honors institutions that excel athletically, achieving success in many sports.
The Ephs athletic success is all the more impressive when you factor in how highly regarded Williams is as one of the nation’s most selective colleges and its annual ranking among the top liberal arts colleges in the nation.