This past weekend, we celebrated 40 years of women’s athletics at Duke. Over 125 former student-athletes and coaches returned to be honored and recognized by Duke Athletics. The weekend featured several key speakers, including Nancy Hogshead-Makar ’86, Laura Gentile ’94, Lindsey Harding ’06, Georgia Schweitzer-Beasley ’01, and Abby Waner ’09.
On Friday night, current and former student-athletes joined together in Card Gym. They were able to catch up with old teammates, roommates, and coaches, enjoy music from the past four decades, and a program featuring a current women’s soccer player, Kim DeCesare, Duke women’s lacrosse coach, Kerstin Kimel, and a former women’s basketball player, Barbara Krause ’81. Following the reunion, the crowd attended Duke women’s basketball’s 74-64 victory over Miami, where the Blue Devils clinched the ACC regular season title.
The weekend culminated with a Gala on Saturday evening. Alumnae were greeted by a “Walk Through History” which chronologically acknowledged each women’s team as it became an official varsity sport. After spending some time in the Hall of Fame, the crowd moved up to a “decade themed” Scharf Hall for dinner and a short program. Duke’s award-winning and oldest female a cappella group, Out of the Blue, performed a set of songs from the past four decades. Dr. Kevin White, Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics, and Laura Gentile, Field Hockey ’94 and Vice President of ESPNW, gave wonderful speeches that recognized the achievements of women over the past 40 years. Jacki Silar, Duke Senior Woman Administrator then toasted to the past, present, and future of women’s athletics, a true tribute to how far women’s athletics have progressed since Title IX was passed in 1972.
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