Written by Joe Raposo
For the first time in the storied history of Harvard athletics, a women's head coaching position has been endowed, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of University alumni.
Indeed, Harvard today announced its first two endowments.
RoAnn Costin '74, a former All-America swimmer and rower for the Crimson, has established the Costin Family Endowed Coach for Women's Swimming and Diving. The gift, the first women's coaching endowment in Harvard history, is in memory of her mother, Rosemary Cole Costin, and in honor of her sister, Maura Costin Scalise '80. Scalise, an All-America swimmer and former Harvard women's swimming and diving head coach, guided her teams to four Eastern Championship and seven Ivy League Championship crowns during an illustrious 13-year career.
On the heels of Costin's gift, C. Kevin Landry '66, his wife Barrie, and their daughters Kimberly GwinnLandry '93 and Jennifer Landry Le '99 celebrated their long-standing affiliation with Harvard hockey by creating the Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey. The Landrys, fixtures at Harvard hockey games at venues across the country, care deeply about undergraduates and are committed to improving the undergraduate experience.
These gifts represent an important milestone in Harvard women's athletics. The Costin and Landry families have been faithful supporters of the College and its student-athletes, and their endowments are expected to create momentum for an inspiring period in Harvard sports history.
"This is a remarkable day for Harvard athletics-particularly for our women's program," said Robert L. Scalise, Nichols Family Director of Athletics. "The University is fortunate to have some of the finest women athletes in the nation, and their dedication and commitment to excellence are matched by the loyalty and support of our alumni and friends."
Scalise added that the Costin and Landry gifts will strengthen what are already championship-caliber programs. "Both teams have enjoyed great success over the years, and these endowments and program funds will help cement their reputation as perennial contenders."
For RoAnn Costin, the first woman to create a Harvard women's coaching endowment, her gift is a tribute to the people who influenced her life so profoundly-led by her mother Rosemary. "She was a nurturer and educator who encouraged and inspired her children to excel in academics and athletics," Costin recalled. "Because of her guidance, my sister Maura and I were fortunate to have choices at a time when opportunities for women were limited."
Costin noted that Alice McCabe, Harvard-Radcliffe's remarkable women's swimming coach at the time, saw to it that Costin pursued her athletic and academic interests at the highest levels. "I'm thrilled to now be in a position to give back, and I encourage other women and men who have benefited from their Harvard experience to ensure that future generations have similar opportunities."
Stephanie Wriede Morawski, Harvard's first Costin Family Endowed Coach for Women's Swimming and Diving, was elated when informed of the news. "This is fantastic not only for the women's swimming program but also for Harvard and all women's sports. The fact that we have two endowments highlights the University's commitment to athletics, as well as our great alumni support. Role models like RoAnn Costin are a gift to the young women who share her passion for the sport."
Kevin Landry's gift to the women's ice hockey program is the culmination of his family's love affair with the game. An avid fan during his undergraduate years, he continued to follow Harvard hockey after graduating; years later, both of his daughters played for the Crimson, with Kimberly being named co-captain. "My wife and I both enjoy the game, and we loved watching our daughters play," he said. "This gift honors the long and great tradition of varsity sports at Harvard, and we hope that it will influence the lives of many generations of Harvard hockey's talented athletes."
Landry marvels at the advances in the women's ice hockey program over the years, and the impact of the team's success within the community. "We've reached a point where we now expect the team to be ranked at the top nationally and win it all. And to see the faces of the girls and boys in the stands, you can't help noticing their amazement at what these young women can do."
Katey Stone, the first Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey, expressed her delight on hearing the news. "I was struck by the tremendous generosity of Kevin and the Landry family. The Landrys have always been loyal supporters of Harvard hockey, and it is only fitting that the head coaching position be in their name. I feel both grateful and sincerely humbled by their gift."
Surely, a sentiment shared by many.
Current Harvard Athletics Endowments (9)
-Listed alphabetically by sport
-The Joseph J. O'Donnell ('67 MBA '71) Head Coach for Harvard Baseball
-The Robert G. Stone ('45) Family Head Coach for Harvard Men's Crew
-The Thomas Stephenson ('64 MBA '66) Family Head Coach for Harvard Football
-The Robert D. Ziff ('88) Head Coach for Harvard Men's Ice Hockey
-The Landry Family Head Coach for Harvard Women's Ice Hockey
-The Virginia B. and James O. Welch, Jr. ('52) Head Coach for Harvard Men's Soccer
-The Costin Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Women's Swimming and Diving
-The David G. Bunning ('88) Head Coach for Harvard Wrestling
-The Nichols Family Director of Harvard Athletics