Saxon leader throws historic first pitch 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doris Harrington, former chairperson of the Alfred University Physical Education Department and an AU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, was on campus Friday, April 19, 2013 to throw out the first pitch at the University’s new softball field. 

Harrington was instrumental in providing increased opportunities for women to participate in intercollegiate athletics at AU. She was appointed an instructor in the Alfred University Physical Education Department in 1961 and eight years later she was appointed department chairperson. At that time, the University had very few opportunities for women students to compete in sports. Over the next decade, thanks to the efforts of Harrington and former athletic directors Paul Powers and Gene Castrovillo, that changed.

In 1971, with the completion of the McLane Center, AU started a men’s and women’s swimming and diving program. Five years later, women’s volleyball was added, with Harrington serving as the program’s first coach. Basketball was added in 1977; soccer in 1980; softball in 1994; and lacrosse in 1995. Today, Alfred University fields 11 women’s varsity athletic teams.

If the McLane Center was a boon for women’s intercollegiate athletics at AU, further improvements in the University’s athletic facilities should increase all teams’ chances for success. “I would think that would be the case,” Harrington said.

Participation in sports, Harrington believes, plays an important role in the overall collegiate experience, with players learning lessons that help them throughout their lives.

“I think student-athletes learn the competitive spirit, to be self-confident, and develop skills that are well-received,” she said.  “I firmly believe this has helped women athletes develop as well-rounded students.”

Harrington retired from Alfred University in 1985. She was inducted into the AU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987.

See other photos from the first-pitch celebration at Flickr. 

 

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