[PAST EVENT] Game Changers

August 23, 2018 - May 12, 2019
Kaplan Arena, Court Level
751 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Access & Features
  • Open to the public
Women's Field Hockey team during Homecoming Parade, 1934
Women's Field Hockey team during Homecoming Parade, 1934

In September 1918, a group of bold young women entered the College of William & Mary for the first time. Despite community objection and on-campus hostility, these trailblazers quickly made the campus their home by pursuing friendships, academics and athletics. Early in that crucial first semester, they took to the field for an impromptu basketball game. As described by participant Martha Barksdale, the game was organized to entertain and cheer up. Thus, with a quick pick-up basketball game, women's athletics commenced at William & Mary.

Since then, the university has hosted women's field hockey tournaments, synchronized swimming exhibitions, and lacrosse finals. From basketball to canoeing, from track and field to tennis, women have found athletic outlets to complement their academic pursuits. Women's teams have won regional and national championships, and individual athletes have achieved national and international success. Despite these accomplishments, women's athletics also struggled with inadequate facilities, uniform shortages, and budgetary crises. This exhibit highlights the significant history of women's athletics at William & Mary, celebrates its game-changing athletes, and anticipates its bright future.


Jennie Davy, W&M Libraries Exhibits Manager | Phone: 757.221.3062 | [[jadavy]]