Founded in 1960, the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) is a non-profit organization that empowers members to amplify the campus experience through inclusive learning, meaningful connections, and engaging entertainment that transforms college communities. NACA serves as the central hub for campus professionals, student leaders, entertainers, agents, vendors and other entities involved in the planning and execution of campus events and activities. The Association provides educational workshops and conferences, offers a range of professional development resources, networking opportunities, and maintains a database of vendors and performers.
History of NACA
NACA begins life as a cooperative booking project in North Carolina.
On February 28, a booking meeting is held at North Carolina State University with 28 college and universities and 11 agencies throughout the Southeast in attendance. A need is identified for both showcases and educational sessions.
A two-day conference is held February 4-5 at NC State. The conference fee of $6 includes registration, two lunches and coffee hours. Simon and Garfunkel showcase, but are not received with enthusiasm.
The Block Booking Conference is held in Columbia, SC. Students hold a closed session to discuss unfair pricing and other problems, which results in a decision to form a national organization to share information and continue to cooperatively buy talent. The leadership reconvenes, voting to formally organize as the National Entertainment Conference (NEC). The first executive director (a volunteer position) Dave Phillips is appointed. A national office is established at USC-Columbia. The first NEC Newsletter is published. The organization has an annual budget of $10,000 with member dues set at $50 per year. In the fall, the first Eastern Regional Conference is held in Hamburg, NY.
The organization is renamed National Entertainment and Campus Activities Association (NECAA). The regions are established. The Board votes to include one member of the Associate Member Advisory Board to the Board of Directors as an ex officio, non-voting representative.
The Association's Affirmative Action Statement is approved. The Commission for Multicultural Education is established. The executive director and board chair represent NACA in Australia. The non-profit affiliate membership category is created.
The organization becomes the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA). The Educational Foundation is established. Steve Slagle becomes executive director.
NACA marks its 50th anniversary. A Foundation Development Steering Committee is formed to assist in examining issues and strategies related to the NACA® Foundation and assist with increasing its donations and stature. The NACA® Your Best Campus Tradition™ Video Competition is created to encourage student organizations to submit videos highlighting outstanding traditional programs from their campuses. NACA began the process to create a new strategic plan. A team of volunteers is charged by the Board of Directors to complete a comprehensive Self Study.
The Association celebrates its 60th anniversary with the launch of NACA® Live, the reimagined national convention experience, in Denver, CO, and the adoption of a new brand for the Association. The board of directors evolves the regional volunteer structure into the Regional Leadership Team (RLT) focusing more on year-round membership engagement opportunities.
The NACA® Foundation Board of Trustees is formed, and the Foundation celebrates its 35th anniversary with a “35 for 35” giving campaign. A new strategic plan is unveiled by the board of directors on May 1, 2017. It lists advisor development and membership growth/engagement as its two primary focus areas.
NACA embraces new mission and vision statements that focus on empowering members to create college communities where everyone belongs. The board of directors expands its statement on and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and adopts an environmental, social, and governance investment model that places emphasis on companies that advance the Association's values. A new approach to regional conferences begins with the 2021-22 conference season that allows members to choose a conference that best fits their needs regardless of regional affiliation.
The board of directors launches a new 3-year strategic plan to further position NACA as an industry leading, mission-driven organization that will define campus activities, prepare members to be leaders in the field, shape business connections for a changing world, and progress toward the Association's vision of creating communities where everyone belongs.
We want to acknowledge that we, as an Association, work and live on the traditional and Native land of the Congaree Tribes. The Congaree people were a small tribe who suffered heavy losses via tribal feuds and smallpox. After fighting against the colony of South Carolina in the Yamasee War of 1715, over half of the Congaree were killed or enslaved. Those remaining moved further north to join the Catawba. Today, the Catawba Nation is the only federally recognized tribe in the state of South Carolina. The Congaree National Park and the Congaree River are vital parts of Columbia.