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Title:Department of Women's Athletics records
Call Number:A92

Historical Note

The Department of Women's Athletics developed out of the Department of Physical Education, which was originally a part of the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Athletics (DHPEA). By the 1960's, the DHPEA had grown too large and split. The new Department of Physical Education was moved under the jurisdiction of the College of Education. In 1965, it split into separate men's and women's Departments. Kathryn Luttgens of Boston-Bouvé College became the chair of the Department of Physical Education for Women. Although the separation of the men's and women's athletics encouraged growth of the women's athletic program, the arrangement was against the contract of the merger with Boston-Bouvé College, which stated that the College must be entirely coeducational. Consequently, the two programs merged again during the 1972-1973 academic year. In 1979, the two departments were separated again and Jeanne Rowlands was appointed Director of the Department of Women's Athletics. Rowlands is credited with bringing the women's sports programs to the Division I level of the Eastern College Athletic Conference. She came to Northeastern University when Boston-Bouvé College merged with the University in 1964 and served as a member of the faculty for almost 30 years. Following her retirement in 1991, President Curry merged the previously separated men's and women's athletic departments due to financial difficulties.

Throughout the years, the number of sponsored programs in the Department of Women's Athletics grew rapidly. The 1970-1971 season saw the women's intercollegiate athletic program join the Women's Recreational Association and had seven activities, including basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, and volleyball. Ten years later, there were nine activities offered through the department: basketball, crew, field hockey, gymnastics, lacrosse, swimming and diving, tennis, ice hockey, and volleyball. By 1989, ten women's sports were offered; cross-country and ice-hockey had been added and field-hockey had been removed.
1965Department of Physical Education splits into men's and women's departments.
Kathryn Luttgens becomes Professor and Chairman, Physical Education for Women.
1971Women's Gymnastic Team begins.
1972Physical Education is no longer a requirement for women.
Women's and Men's athletic departments merge due to contractual agreements with Boston-Bouvé College.
1976Jeanne Rowlands is selected to manage the US Women's Basketball team for the Olympics.
Women's Gymnastic Team totals over 75 team points for the first time.
1979Department of Women's Athletics separates from the Men's Athletic Department.
Jeanne Rowlands becomes Director of Department of Women's Athletics.
1980Northeastern beats Boston University 11-0 in the Women's Intercollegiate Ice-Hockey Contest.
1983Women's Field-Hockey finishes 10-10, Women's Tennis finishes 7-5.
1989Women's Volleyball team wins first Division 1 Eastern College Athletic Conference championship.
Women's Hockey wins seventh Beanpot Championship in a row.
Gymnastics team holds a season average of 183.5 team points.
1991Women's and Men's Athletic teams merge due to financial constraints.

Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University: An Emerging Giant: 1959-1975 (Boston : Northeastern University Custom Book Program, c.1982). CALL NUMBER: LD4011.N22F7X

Feldscher, Karen. Northeaster University 1989- 1996: The Curry Years: Smaller but Better (Boston: Northeastern Publications, c.2000). CALL NUMBER: LD4011.N22 F45 2000