Here's a start!
We've got the fever!
We can't be stopped!
We've got to score!
More … More … More!
That was the popular cheer in 1972. As I cheered our Yeomen football and basketball teams to victory (yes, those were days when winning was the rule, not the exception, and yes, I was a cheerleader at Oberlin), I had no idea of Title IX or its impact.
More than 6,459 of our living alumni participated in sports at Oberlin College. That number surprises those who don't think of our alma mater as a sports-oriented school. Oberlin, however, has a long tradition of physical fitness and sports, and many of our alumni continue to support athletics through volunteer efforts and giving through the John W. Heisman Club.
John William Heisman (1869-1936) began his coaching career with the Oberlin College football team. In 1892, he led the Yeomen to a perfect 7-0 record. In those days of high-powered football, the '92 Oberlin grid squad defeated both Ohio State and Michigan and was ranked with Minnesota and Purdue as one of the three best teams west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Nearly a century later, Oberlin alumni and friends honored Heisman's memory by forming the John William Heisman Club. Created in 1978, the club was dedicated to strengthening the entire intercollegiate athletics program. Today, the Heisman Club provides a wide range of services in support of all varsity sports (not just football), club sports, and other health and wellness initiatives.
This fall, Homecoming coincided with the public launch of the Oberlin Illuminate comprehensive campaign, a $250 million fundraising effort whose goal is to fund a range of initiatives that broaden access to an Oberlin education, enrich the learning experience, and better prepare students for success after they graduate. As we highlight the 40th anniversary of Title IX and celebrate Homecoming, it is fitting that the campaign being launched includes physical and emotional health and wellness goals.
At Oberlin, hundreds of students participate in club or intramural sports, and more than one in ten is a varsity athlete. Nearly all students and most faculty and staff members use the athletics and recreation facilities. The campaign presents us with the opportunity to enhance programs and facilities for physical and emotional health and wellness by revitalizing the Philips Physical Education Center and Carr Pool, constructing a new health and wellness pavilion, converting the football stadium field to turf, and expanding services to promote emotional heath.
If you have questions about the Heisman Club, contact the current president, Sean Gavin '98, at email@example.com. Oberlin Illuminate comprehensive campaign information can be viewed at campaign.oberlin.edu.
May we continue to provide equal—and quality—opportunities for Oberlin men and women to engage in physical activities and sports, and lead healthy, vigorous lives!
Jackie Bradley Hughes '76
President, Oberlin Alumni Association