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Athletics (Fall 2010)

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About the exhibit

Even before Webster University (formerly Loretto College) built its first gymnasium in 1920, students engaged in sports such as tennis and basketball. An annual Field Day was held behind Webster Hall.

For many years, basketball and volleyball were the two main sports. Other sports featured in yearbooks, photographs, etc. include archery, bowling, field hockey, track, swimming, tennis, and softball.

In 1984, Webster University began its intercollegiate program with men’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s basketball as its inaugural sports. The following year the university officially joined the NCAA as a Division III school. The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) began play in 1990 with Webster as a charter member.

For most of Webster’s history, athletics have been a part of campus life. Long before we had official mascots and conference memberships, students played hard and had fun. Today’s student athletes continue to impress and inspire us with their dedication and hard work.

Photographs and other materials courtesy of the Webster University Archives and Webster Athletics. Thank you to Niel DeVasto, Sports Information Director, for his assistance with this display. Materials originally on display at the Emerson Library in October 2010.

Exhibit organizer: Kathy Gaynor

Women Presidents at Webster (Fall 2009)

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About the exhibit

When Dr. Elizabeth Stroble arrived at Webster in 2009, she became the seventh woman to serve as president of the University. The previous women presidents were all at one time members of the Sisters of Loretto, the religious order that founded the institution in 1915.

These women leaders guided Webster through periods of growth and economic depression, war and peace, and enormous societal change. The campus grew physically through the acquisition of the Thompson estate, the building of the Loretto and Maria Hall dormitories, and the addition of the Loretto-Hilton Center.

The campus also changed with the times in social terms. African-American students were admitted in the late 1940s and men were allowed to enroll on a limited basis in 1962. The Sisters of Loretto transferred ownership of the college to a lay board in 1967 after 52 years of operation as a Catholic college.

The women presidents of Webster have played an invaluable role in the history of the institution. This exhibit documents just a few of their many contributions.

Photographs courtesy of the Webster University Archives and the Loretto Community Archives in Nerinx, Kentucky. These materials were originally on display at the Emerson Library in October 2009.

Exhibit organizer: Kathy Gaynor