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Campus Pioneers: The FIrst 25 Years of Women at Gonzaga, 1948 - 1973: Case 3

Case 3: Athletics

 Case 3: Athletics

Women’s sports at Gonzaga were not always the booming success that they are today. Women’s athletics started out modestly and only came into existence with the help of people, such as Faye Rossi and Marjorie Anderson. The creation of the Women’s Athletic Association (WAA) at Gonzaga, allowed women to play against one another in activities such as golf, swimming, volleyball, archery, tennis, and many more. Fay Rossi was the first director of the WAA and also coached the women’s basketball team in the Pine League, which was formed in 1960. Marjorie Anderson took over coaching in 1961 and continued to help women’s athletics at Gonzaga grow into the 1980’s.

Marjorie Anderson, no date.

Marjorie Anderson, no date.

As an assistant professor of Physical Education, Marjorie Anderson coached women’s basketball, volleyball, tennis, and swim starting in 1961. She was part of the physical education faculty at Gonzaga into the 1980’s and for many years, she coached basketball and volleyball teams that were a part of the Pine League. The Pine League included Spokane-area colleges and allowed for women’s basketball and volleyball teams to compete against one another before Title IX required women be given an equal chance to play in collegiate athletics.

Inaugural Members of the Women’s Athletic Association, 1955-1956.

Inaugural Members of the Women’s Athletic Association, 1955-1956.

Left to right (Front Row): Beverly E. Rogers, Joellen E. Leick, Patsy J. Connell, Karen A. Lundmark, Julie A. Schuller, Karin Jager, (Second Row) Rosalie A. Nadeau, Nelia C. Haener, Linda Landry, DuAnne K. Peters, Janet E. Puccinelli, Beatrice A. Booth, (Third Row) Rosemary J. Dempsey, Marilyn McNabb, Marilyn L. Smith, Jacklin A. Walter, Cathy Brien, Peggy J. Conlon, Sherrel L. Bradford.

The WAA was formed in 1955 to help improve women’s athletic programs and facilities.

 

Women’s Physical Education Class, 1958-1959.

Women’s Physical Education Class, 1958-1959.

The Women’s Athletic Association gave co-eds the opportunity to take physical education classes and participate in a variety of sports on campus.

Archery, 1959-1960.

Archery, 1959-1960.

Left to right: Judie Kertson, Marylee Doyle, Sandy Robello.

The Women’s Athletic Association (WAA) was formed in 1955 and allowed female students at Gonzaga to participate in sports such as volleyball, archery, golf and many more.

“The Word is Out,” The Bulletin, Dec. 9, 1964.

“The Word is Out,” The Bulletin, Dec. 9, 1964.

Women’s athletics were not always taken seriously on the GU campus. In this edition of the Bulletin, one student refers to the women’s physical education period as a “silly thing” while the student also asks that male students refrain from bothering the female students during this time.

Volleyball, about 1960’s.

Volleyball, about 1960’s.

Volleyball, coached by Marjorie Anderson, was another sport with a large draw for female students under the WAA throughout the 1960’s.

“Pine League Basketball and Volleyball,” Spires, 1964.

part 1/2: “Pine League Basketball and Volleyball,” Spires, 1964.part 2/2: “Pine League Basketball and Volleyball,” Spires, 1964.

Women’s Basketball, 1960.

Women’s Basketball, 1960.

Left to right: Diana Smith, Kathy Wood, Judie Kertson, Ellen Reed, Jackie Claude and Nettie Dreps.

Women’s basketball started out modestly at Gonzaga with its first competitive games against colleges in the Spokane area in the early 60’s as a part of the Pine League until 1975. At first, the women’s team only played other Spokane-area schools and their games were poorly attended, but the ladies who played were thankful for the opportunity to play at all.

Synchronized Swim Team, 1968.

Synchronized Swim Team, 1968.

Pictured here, the synchronized swim team of 1968 their performance titled “Westward Ho,” in the swimming pool in Kennedy Pavilion, now Martin Centre.

“Femme Fatales Court Victories to Capture League Title,” Spires Yearbook, 1973.

part 1/2: “Femme Fatales Court Victories to Capture League Title,” Spires Yearbook, 1973.part 2/2: “Femme Fatales Court Victories to Capture League Title,” Spires Yearbook, 1973.