Women athletes receive long overdue recognition
Oct. 16, 2003
KALAMAZOO -- They come from far and wide, representing different eras, to receive recognition long overdue.
On Saturday, Oct. 18, nearly 200 former women student-athletes at Western Michigan University will celebrate the awarding of letters for those who competed in varsity sports prior to 1981. An awards dinner is planned for 6:30 p.m. in the East Ballroom of the Bernhard Center, and the public is invited to attend. Tickets priced at $30 are available through the athletic Community Relations Office at (269) 387-3615.
The reunion will draw women from as far away as California, Florida and Texas. Donna Misslitz, a three-sport athlete from the early 1970s, is flying to Kalamazoo from the United Arab Emirates, where she serves as a private school teacher. Also in attendance will be nine women who are inductees in the WMU Athletic Hall of Fame, some of whom never received varsity letters; and Maxine Cobb of Whitehall, Mich., who played tennis at WMU more than 70 years ago, in the 1930s.
The names of the "new" varsity letter winners will be added to the official all-time lists compiled by the Sports Information Office and the varsity "W" Club.
"It has been so rewarding to speak with many of these women, none of them expected this kind of grand finale, they have been so gracious toward their alma mater," said Kim Thebo, athletic community relations director who has coordinated the event the past 17 months. "The recognition of these spectacular women helps to put closure to their justified athletic careers, to pass the torch, and to continue the progress to the future of women's athletics."
WMU Athletics will also welcome back members of the 1983 volleyball team, celebrating its 20th anniversary. Coached by Rob Buck, the 1983 Broncos rolled to a 32-1 overall record, advanced to the NCAA Regional finals and finished ranked ninth in the nation.
Women returning for the varsity letter awards ceremony and the 1983 volleyball team also will be recognized at the Saturday, Oct. 18, volleyball match versus Ohio University beginning at 4 p.m. in University Arena. Tickets for the volleyball match are available at the door.
Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 269 387-4138, firstname.lastname@example.org