Headshot of a woman.

Women of Ramsey: How It Started, How It’s Going, and Where It’s Going

“My son and I were walking through the building the Sunday before it first opened, and we heard an explosion. It turns out that the hot water tanks had blown,” said Dr. Jane Russell, former director of Recreational Sports. “When we opened there was no hot water in the showers…and guess what? Nobody cared.”

Russell reminisces about a time in her career when she was a part of the group that made the Ramsey Student Center a reality. Since the inception of the department in 1995, she along with many other women have been instrumental in championing the need for students to have a place – a home – for recreational activities.

Throughout the Department of Recreational Sports’ 27 years, there have been influential women shaping the student experience and keeping not only the department but also the Ramsey Student Center running through all manner of challenges. Three of their stories are highlighted here.

How It Started

When then Vice President of Student Affairs Dwight Douglas opened applications for the coordinator of campus recreation in 1979, Jane Russell knew this was her calling. Driven by her love for higher education and sport, the sport sociology doctoral student applied for the job. When she got the job, she quickly grew into her role.

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