The Villanova alumnae who gathered for a November 50th anniversary celebration all had one thing in common. They were Villanova University’s women athletes, writes Shawn Proctor for Villanova Magazine.
Built over the decades into a powerhouse that has won national championships, more than 300 women are now Villanova student-athletes on 13 teams.
Women became a part of Villanova’s Athletics program at the same time they were taking their place in campus classrooms. In 1968, all academic programs were made officially co-ed.
In fall 1968, a group of female tennis players approached Robert Langran, PhD, the coach of the Men’s Tennis team, asking him to coach a women’s team as well. Dr. Langran remained the coach of both teams for the next 25 years.
“There’s a strong foundation for athletes today—it started with these women,” he says.
It’s that emphasis on legacy that sets its athletes up for success and fulfillment as athletes, as students and as people.
“It is on their shoulders that we were able to build it,” says Lynn Tighe ’87 CLAS, Villanova’s senior associate Athletics director, chief Athletics administrative officer and senior woman administrator, as well as a former student-athlete herself.
Read more about Villanova’s women athletes here.