I Can Do Anything
Beginning with a tennis tournament in the fall of 1970 and continuing through a women's lightweight rowing national championship in the spring of 2021, the first 50 years of women's athletics at Princeton were nothing short of extraordinary. Now there is a book that tells that amazing history through a series of stories, accompanied by a fabulous collection of photos, about the women who made it happen.
The book starts with the hiring of Merrily Dean Baker in 1970 as the first woman athletic administrator. It tells the history of the courageous and inspiring early pioneers, and it goes through the succeeding decades and the national champions, Olympians and professional athletes Princeton has produced, as well as the successes in all walks of life that Princeton's women athletes have achieved. It was written by Department of Athletics historian Jerry Price.
"This book is such a phenomenal collection of stories of Princeton's women athletes," says Helena Novakova, the first von Kienbusch Award winner and one of the two tennis players who were the first women to compete for Princeton. "I could not put the book down after I first opened it, and I read until the wee hours. I am humbled by the achievements of the other women and terribly proud of being counted among them."
"The women featured in this book, with all of their amazing accomplishments, are such great representatives of all of the inspiring and incredible women who competed at Princeton in the first 50 years," says Caroline Lind, an NCAA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist rower. "Their stories hit home with me and spoke directly to my own experiences as a Princeton woman athlete."
"Having written my senior thesis on the first two decades of the courageous women athletes at Princeton, the day I received this book in the mail I read it cover to cover," says Tyler Lussi, Princeton's all-time leading scorer in soccer and a current professional player for the Portland Thorns of the National Women's Soccer League. "I spent four years learning what it means to be a Princetonian and to go forward in the service of humanity. I would not have had the opportunity without the women before me, specifically Merrily Dean Baker who instilled in our social consciousness that there should be gender equality in every aspect of life. The history and legacy of so many great women in one book is phenomenally written."