Radcliffe Goes on the Power Play

Savoir-Faire on Freshwomen

Application for Undergraduate Admission



Sports books read in the last week:

Are you over six feet?:


Field hockey experience:

Do you play squash?:

Can you cradle [a lacrosse ball]?:

Way back when--call it 1975--Radcliffe prospectives needed not concern themselves with that section of their applications under the call word "Athletics." Play the violin, ace those SATs, live in Idaho--but be a jock...what are you, sexist?

Times change, though, and so do admissions offices. Witness last year, when Harvard's and Radcliffe's became one, an event that caused as great a shake-up at Byerly Hall as it did around Radcliffe sporting circles.

For given but one year--call it 1976--in which to work, the all-new admissions team managed to rebuild Radcliffe's sweat squads faster than it takes Andy Cadiff to get seconds on shrimp curry.

"It definitely made a difference," Mary Anne Schwalbe '55, director of undergraduate admissions, said yesterday afternoon, referring to the merged admissions office. "We became aware of women's athletics."

So aware, in fact, that more than just a handful of the Radcliffe class of '80 was accepted with last year's athletic marks in mind.

The field hockey outfit had but a single triumph in '75. Change that to a single setback in '76. The hoopsters didn't know where the basket was last year. This winter they rarely miss. Squash is no slouch, soccer and track are up and coming, and three drinks at Father's--on Ladies' Night of course--says the lacrosse team will win more than it loses.

Yet, while the Radcliffe admissions folks now look for jump shots the way they look for cellists, the intensity of their search is mild compared to the womanhunting efforts at Princeton and Yale.