Oct. 13, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Starting with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Harvard in double-overtime, the Yale field hockey team celebrated its 35th anniversary in style this past weekend. The festivities included an alumnae game and a reception/dinner at which the establishment of the Yale field hockey endowment was announced.
The dinner began with master of ceremonies Anne Lehman Dillman '93 introducing athletic director Tom Beckett. Beckett presented Lawrie Mifflin '73 and Susan Morse '74 with the photo showing both of them on the Yale fence as co-captains of the 1972 team - the only time a Yale team has ever had co-captains.
Beckett also recognized the inspirational presence of Amanda Walton '02, who now serves as a special assistant to the team.
"She had skills I had never seen before and the heart of a champion," Beckett said. Walton played two seasons for Yale before being injured in a car accident.
Mifflin, Senior Editor at The New York Times, then spoke about her memories of helping to start the field hockey program. She acknowledged Jane Curtis '72, whom she met at a reception at the Philadelphia Yale Club prior to arriving on campus as a freshman, and recalled putting up flyers in Vanderbilt Hall (where all the freshmen women lived) trying to organize a team.
"We took our sticks and knocked the ball around outside, hoping other people would notice," Mifflin said.
Entering her sophomore year Mifflin contacted every local field hockey coach and organized a series of games for that fall. The team was a club sport in her junior year and achieved varsity status when she was a senior.
"It is great to see how all the traditions of Yale field hockey have been strengthened and enhanced," Mifflin said.
After dinner Dillman, the president of the Yale Field Hockey Association, spoke of the association's role in the development of the program. She commended head coach Pam Stuper for her work since joining the team as an assistant coach in 1997.
Stuper then spoke, thanking all of the athletic department staff members and others who assisted with the 35th anniversary celebration and have helped the program in other ways throughout the years. She also recognized Walton.
"Amanda is a fighter," Stuper said. "She never quits. She is the epitome of a Yale field hockey player."
Captain Harriet Thayer '08 spoke on behalf of her team and expressed her appreciation to all of the alumnae.
"They remind us that our commitment to Yale field hockey is lifelong," Thayer said.
Carol Roberts '81 spoke about what it meant for her to play for Yale.
"The thing that ties it all together is passion," Roberts said. "I felt it here at Yale when I stepped on the field with my teammates. You know what it's like to be part of something bigger than you."
The endowment committee's announcement of the creation of a field hockey endowment capped the festivities. The program is already nearly three-quarters of the way towards its year-end goal of $350,000.
The announcement was made by the Yale field hockey endowment committee -- Chrissy Hall '05, Anne Keating '77 and Heather Kirby '81 -- at the 35th anniversary dinner Saturday night in Yale's Berkeley College.
"We are very excited to announce the establishment of the Yale field hockey endowment," said Keating, noting that it is the fifth endowment supporting women's sports at Yale.
For further information on the Yale field hockey endowment, please contact Sr. Associate Athletics Director for Development & Community Outreach Tim Ford at email@example.com.