ASHLAND, Va. - The Randolph-Macon College community was saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Emeritus Rachel Anderson.
Anderson arrived on campus in 1972 and helped establish the women's athletics program at R-MC. She was a full professor of health & physical education, developed the physical education program and was chair of the department.
Anderson was the first woman hired full-time in the R-MC athletic department and worked until 2000. She was the first female coach, leading the women's tennis program from 1972-92 and the aquatics program from 1972-96. Anderson was ODAC Women's Tennis Coach of the Year in 1988.
Anderson was recently voted into the Randolph-Macon Athletics Hall of Fame. She will be inducted posthumously on Saturday, Oct. 14.
"Rachel played a significant role in the development and addition of several of our women's sports as well as the physical education program," said Carroll LaHaye, R-MC head women's basketball coach since 1982. "She fought with grace and persistence in the early years before Title IX to get us to have the programs we take for granted in today's world. I know through the struggles, she believed it was worth it and she was proud of the successes of all the women athletes. She was a gentle person who mentored many.
Unfortunately she won't get to reap the rewards publicly with her induction into the Hall of Fame in October, but, thankfully, she did know she had been selected."
In the pool, Anderson was a Water Safety Instructor Trainer. She helped many students earn their Water Safety Instructor designation with the Red Cross.
On the administrative side, Anderson was Women's Athletic Coordinator and Senior Administrator from 1990-97. She also served as cheerleader sponsor from 1972-85.