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Letter: Athletics are another important legacy of Pembroke

The April 9 article, “‘End of an era’: Exploring the legacy of Pembroke College”  omitted one important Pembroke cohort — student-athletes. As a result of the merger of Pembroke College and Brown University, intercollegiate athletics moved from oversight of the Pembroke physical education department to the Brown Athletic Department. For decades women who wanted to compete in full--blown intercollegiate sports were limited by policies which had been in place from the time that Bessie Rudd ’30 became director of physical education at Pembroke in 1931 until the merger, at which point Rudd’s successor, Arlene Gorton ’52, began to transition the so-called “Club Varsity Teams” into bona fide varsity programs. It took much more time for women’s teams to reach a point of equity with the men’s teams, but the merger and the 1972 Title IX legislation paved the way.

Peter Mackie ’59

Sports Archivist, Robinson Collection of Brown Athletics

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