Hosted by the Manuscripts and Archives department in Sterling Memorial Library, this open house on Friday January 31st from 3:30-5:00pm will feature highlights and treasures from the Yale Library’s rich collection of materials relating to swimming and diving at Yale.
With an announcement in the January 24, 1899 issue of the Yale Daily News, the swimming program at Yale was born. In the subsequent 115 years, Yale Swimming and Diving has defined excellence and achievement in amateur athletics.
During the 20th century, the Men’s Swimming and Diving Team was a powerhouse in the collegiate swimming world, winning four NCAA championships, thirty Eastern Intercollegiate Swim League (EISL) championships, and several Amateur Athletic Union championships under legendary coaches Robert J. H. Kiphuth and Phil Moriarty. Many notable Yale coaches and swimmers—including Stephen Clark ’65, James McLane ’53, and Donald Schollander ’68—represented the United States in the summer Olympics, winning a total of seventeen gold, seven silver, and five bronze medals.
In March of 1974, the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team attained varsity status led by team captain Bonnie Jackson Kestner ’74, ’78 MAR. The April 1, 1974 edition of the Yale Daily News hailed the achievement as, “a signal that the Yale athletic administration is willing and able to give the women the support they need to compete with the top teams in the country.” In 40 years of competition, the women’s swim team has captured five Women’s Ivy Championships. Yale swimmer Emily deRiel ’96 won the silver medal in the modern pentathlon in the 2000 summer Olympic games in Sydney, and swimmer Deborah Gruen ’10 took bronze in the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games.
The open house is free and open to the public.