Date of Thesis

Spring 5-1-2012

Thesis Type

Masters Thesis

First Advisor

Joseph L. Murray

Abstract

Mansfield University, founded on January 7, 1857 as Mansfield Classical Seminary, has an overwhelming history of persistence. Along with the institution, the women’s athletic programs also have a strong past. This paper outlines the history of women’s athletics at Mansfield from the establishment of the school in 1857, to the first women’s athletic program starting in 1900, and through the present day. It is organized according to the eras the institution went through and the athletic opportunities given to the women at that time. The focus of each chapter reflects the major accomplishments of both the institution and the women’s athletic programs, events, and issues that transpired during each time period. Research was conducted by reviewing yearbooks, memorandums, and reports in the Mansfield University archives, school newspaper articles, and the university website, along with several other supplemental materials. Personal interviews also accompanied the documentary research to give a first-hand historical viewpoint of several eras. It was concluded that the women at Mansfield University have fought for, and created athletic opportunities for over 100 years. In comparison to other Pennsylvania state universities, women’s athletics at Mansfield are under-funded and on the low end of receiving athletic scholarship monies. The future of women’s athletics at Mansfield is uncertain due to budgetary factors that are unknown at this time.

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