Madeleine K. Albright ’59 and Hockey Star Angela Ruggiero Announce Launch of Hall of Fame and First Class of Inductees

June 9, 2014
Madeleine Albright shows off blue sneaker from behind podium

In a memorable moment during Reunion 2014, alumna Madeleine K. Albright ’59, joined by four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero, introduced the Wellesley Athletics Hall of Fame and announced its inaugural class of inductees, who will be installed in the Hall of Fame during Homecoming weekend in October. 

Former Secretary of State Albright, known globally for wearing lapel pins that communicate a message, wore an Albright Institute pin to the event but also donned Wellesley Blue running shoes. Indeed Albright, one of the most prominent diplomats in U.S. history, and Ruggiero, one of the most prominent women’s ice hockey players in the world, both sported the power sneakers to communicate to the world: Women athletes rule!

The first inductees were named, to rousing applause.


  • Paula Andres O’Brien ’90: Cross country, lacrosse, basketball
  • Evelyn Boldrick Howard ’45: Badminton (posthumously)
  • Barbara Bruning McGhie ’54: Golf
  • Heidi Chang ’96: Fencing
  • Karyn Cooper ’92: Tennis
  • Elizabeth “Liza” Janssen Petra ’94: Basketball, soccer
  • Elizabeth “Lisa” Murphy ’86: Basketball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis
  • Allison Schnitzer ’00: Volleyball
  • Deborah Twichell McDermott ’90: Swimming
  • Alix Wandesforde-Smith ’98: Field hockey, basketball

Women of Inspiration

  • Barbara Barnes Hauptfuhrer ’49: Generous supporter of athletics; created endowment funds (posthumously)
  • Katherine Curtis Rigler ’61: Founding co-chair of Friends of Athletics
  • Nan Keohane ’61: Former Wellesley College president
  • Linda K. Vaughan: Former chair/athletic director (posthumously)

The newly established Athletics Hall of Fame honors the spirit and achievements of Wellesley scholar-athletes and those who have inspired and supported them. Athletics Hall of Fame members will exemplify the College’s longstanding conviction that varsity athletics play an important role in the development of leadership abilities, the cultivation of character and discipline, and the resolve to strive for excellence in every aspect of life.

After Saturday’s presentation, the permanent display in the Keohane Sports Center was unveiled for students and alumnae. Inductees will be introduced again at halftime of the varsity field hockey and varsity soccer games on October 18, with Hall of Fame reception and other celebrations to follow.

The capacity audience of 1,200 in Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall on June 7 included reunion-goers and guests, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ’69, celebrating her 45th. The event was simulcast on campus for other Reunion attendees. After the Hall of Fame proceedings, Albright took the stage with Wellesley College President H. Kim Bottomly to discuss her famous pin collection, a traveling exhibition of which is now on view at the Davis Museum. A public talk and Q&A will be given on June 16, and livestreamed online.