Welcome to the third edition of Title IX at 50, a series where all through the month of July we will feature stories of Marymount Athletics and the women who have shaped it.
This week features Jane McDonough Tuck, Class of 1967. During her time at Marymount, she competed in field hockey, basketball, and just about any other sport she got the chance to try. Her love of sports, however, started from a young age growing up on Long Island.
"I went to Catholic elementary school where basketball was king," said McDonough. "That's kind of a universal thing among Catholic elementary schools: You play on a crummy parking lot and you have bloodied knees. But you knew how to play basketball since it was just about the only sport CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) had. Then I went to a public high school that had a great variety of sports programs. I bring that up because that was my introduction to field hockey."
After graduating from Garden City High School, McDonough chose to attend Marymount, sight unseen. When she arrived, she joined a campus with a bustling athletics department.
"Marymount had probably the finest athletic facilities for women's colleges in this area," McDonough said. "The pool was seven years old and there was a bowling alley. What is now Converse Field House was called Butler Hall. They were a gift from a famous baseball player named Stan Musial, who had a daughter that went to Marymount."
Although Marymount athletics were not officially sanctioned by the NCAA until the early 1980s, McDonough and her friends would practice together whenever their schedules permitted and had the athletics director schedule games against the other local women's colleges. In basketball, Marymount beat schools like Georgetown and Maryland, according to Tuck.
"We were very good athletes, I must say," added McDonough.
Once Title IX was passed in 1972 and more and more colleges became co-ed, sports programs really started to explode in popularity. The experiences of McDonough and her classmates set the stage for where Marymount athletics stands today.
"We all have our gifts and we all have something to contribute," said McDonough. "But it was stymied in those days just by the way life was. For women, playing sports ended when you left high school unless you were able to pursue it in college. And the beauty of Marymount was that you could pursue it, with the best facilities and the greatest support. And now I see where they are today, and it's extremely gratifying. It makes me really proud."