Immaculata University Magazine - Spring 2011 - page 28

e were lucky, some said. But we knew
it was a combination of the right
players, with the right coach, at the right
time. When you factored in our fierce
determination to win, our ability to work hard, and
our willingness to sacrifice for a common goal, we
were unstoppable.
It was our time. We knew it. We ranwith it. We loved
it. We have never forgotten it. And we never will. It was
our Camelot. But to truly understand our story, it is
important to understand our university.
Immaculata, the first Catholicwomen’s college in the
Philadelphia area, was founded in 1920 as Villa Maria
College by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart
of Mary, who purchased 198 wooded acres in Chester
County and built the school on the top of the tallest hill
in Frazer, Pa., 30 miles west of Philadelphia.
The original campus architecture, including the
imposing green dome of the administration building,
was constructed in the Italian Renaissance style. Priests
and Sisters were the primary instructors. The setting
was secluded, serene, and quiet. It was a special place.
It still is.
But what makes Immaculata so unique is its legacy,
the gift of its founder, Mother Camilla. School history
has it that Mother Camilla looked up at that noble
Written by
Sister Marian William Hoben, IHM,
Immaculata University
President emerita
By Theresa Shank Grent z ’ 74
As told to Dick Weiss and Joan Williamson
For those of us from Immaculata
who won the first three women’s
intercollegiate national basketball
tournaments in 1972, 1973, and
1974, it was a very special place
and a very special time. We came
out of nowhere—or so it seemed—
and changed the face of women’s
basketball in the country.
Some of us like books that make us
laugh; some prefer those that move us to
tears. There are readers among us who
want to learn from what we read, while
many prefer simply to be reminded of what
we already know. Perhapswemayhope that
the pages we peruse will open new vistas
for us, or lead us to delve into unexplored
territories or unexamined theories. Then
there are those who want to be inspired,
or guided, or motivated. Many of us find
ourselves searching for books that assure
long,more than anything else, to encounter
ideas, thoughts, and values that echo
our own—integrity, generosity, respect
for others and their special gifts—and
perhaps lead us to an examination of those
values in our own lives. And, if the truth be
told, the majority of us are actually seeking
a good story, something that will entertain
us, making us see, at the same time, that
real happiness is found in a strong faith,
loving parents, and irreplaceable friends.
If, for you, a “good read” is one that
includes any of the above, this brief book
will be just what you are looking for. The
engaging author, Theresa Shank Grentz,
gives us an inside glimpse of an unusual
segment of sports history—the winning
of the AIAW first national title for three
consecutive years, and the circumstances
that led up to, and surrounded, it. It is
a story laid in a time of innocence when
hard work, a fierce determination to win, a
saving sense of humor, and real teamwork
were the norm. The reading will be a “look-
ing back” for many adults, and a “looking
forward” for the young.
A M e m ’ ry Fa i r : A C e l e b r at i on
o f I mm ac u l ata B a s k e t b a l l
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