The NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved the recommendation from the NCAA Division I Administration Cabinet to grant Seattle University Division I active membership during Thursday's board meeting.

In a letter addressed to Seattle University President Fr. Stephen Sundborg, the NCAA congratulated Seattle U on its successful transition to Division I status. Seattle U was one of five schools to receive full Division I membership Thursday, joining Bryant University, North Dakota, SIU Edwardsville, and South Dakota in completing the reclassification process.

"This is a milestone we have been anticipating for quite a while now, and I am pleased that the NCAA has granted us full membership back into Division I," Bill Hogan, Director of Athletics, said. "Our focus is now on competing within the Western Athletic Conference and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, taking full advantage of our opportunities to participate in NCAA Division I postseason competition."

The approval from the board of directors concludes a five-year process that began when Seattle U initially applied to reclassify from Division II to Division I in June 2007. Although Seattle U athletic teams have been considered Division I counters for scheduling purposes since the 2009-10 academic year, all squads except for the men's soccer and women's soccer teams have not been eligible for NCAA postseason or statistical awards until now.

As the one male sport and one female sport allowed by the NCAA to be chosen by the school to be "fast-tracked", the men's and women's soccer programs have been eligible for Division I statistical awards and NCAA postseason berths for the past two years. With the board's vote, all Seattle U teams can now compete in NCAA postseason competitions.

The 2012-13 season will start with the women's soccer home opener, as the Redhawks face crosstown rival Washington Friday, Aug. 17, at Championship Field starting at 4 p.m.