F. Elizabeth Richey


Betty Richey created women’s intercollegiate squash. A graduate of Radcliffe where she captained the basketball team, she came to Vassar in 1937 and coached there for forty-one years. Richey started Vassar’s varsity programs in women’s and later men’s squash. When she launched the women’s team in 1937, it was the first program in the nation. In 1965 she founded the women’s national intercollegiate individual tournament, hosting it at Vassar. In 1973 she helped create the women’s intercollegiate team tournament, now known as the Howe Cup. A tremendous athlete, she played for more than twenty years on the U.S. national teams in both field hockey and lacrosse and was inducted into both the national halls of fame (field hockey in 1988, lacrosse in 1993), as well as the College Squash Hall of Fame in 1995. “She played for the love of the game, ” it was said at her memorial service in September 1988, “and fought fiercely, primarily to give the opponent the very best challenge she could.”