50 "Trailblazers" Helped Forge A Legacy of Excellence At Saint Ben's

Last October, Saint Benedict Athletics’ tradition of success was centerstage when 50 of our greatest and most impactful student-athletes were honored at the Title IX 50th anniversary ceremony at the Benedicta Arts Center on campus.

“I think the first word that comes to my mind is being overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with gratitude for the commitment our college made to grow our programs,” said former Athletic Director Carol Howe-Veenstra, who led the department from 1987 to 2015.

Howe-Veenstra was joined by other CSB athletic directors Carol Agnes (1970s), Margo Coleman (1980s) and current AD Kelly Anderson Diercks, who made presentations about the five decades of excellence (1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s).

It has been 50 years since Title IX changed the landscape of athletics, banning discrimination based on sex and opening opportunities for thousands of women. Nancy Frost Bellmont ’74, who was a key part of the school’s first team to compete at the intercollegiate level in 1972-73, and became an advocate for women’s athletics as a student and beyond, carried a smile from the time she arrived.

“It was a total blast,” she said. “Just to see the history of Saint Ben’s athletics put up on the screen and stage like that from the beginning to the current students was a total thrill.”

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