Virginia Tech Magazine
Letters to the Editor
Winter 2009
Bringing back basketball memories

1971-72  Virginia Tech women's basketball team
Members of the 1971-72 women’s basketball team (from left to right), first row: Linda Hurff, Patti Blackburns, and Diane Morie; second row: Ms. Roberts, Ruth Wilkinson, Betty Glover, Sharon Hovland, and Phyllis Traversano; third row: Susan Tracey, Marlene Powell, Peggy Hall, Janet Vickersmith, Debbie Van Dresser, Karen Robertson, and Coach Ristroph.
What a surprise today when I received my magazine and opened it to page two to find the 1972-73 women's basketball team picture and the letter that Coach Ristroph wrote. I was sorry to hear that there are no records before 1976, but it brought back great memories, so I went to find my photo album.

I found pictures of the infamous 1971-72 Virginia Tech women's basketball team. I was a freshman, and when this team was formed, we were all walk-ons and no scholarships. In addition, the rules for women's basketball changed that year. No longer did six women play on the court, but just five like the men. This team of 13 women was actually the precursor to the 1973 team and was sponsored by Ms. Roberts [shown in the photo above]. As you can see from our uniforms, they were not fancy, and we did not get our picture in the Bugle that year either.

I also found the program from the March 1-3, 1973, Virginia Federation for Intercollegiate Sports for College Women State Basketball Tournament played at Madison College. It was the third annual tournament with 17 colleges participating, including Averett, Bridgewater, Clinch Valley, William and Mary, Hollins, Longwood, Lynchburg, Old Dominion, Radford, Stratford, Sweet Briar, Randolph Macon, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia State, U.Va., Roanoke, and Virginia Tech.

As Coach Ristroph pointed out in his letter, women's basketball has come a long way! It was wonderful to relive some of those moments, and I hope that you will also share these pictures with the readers. These teams certainly paved the way for the future. Also, I would love to hear from any of my fellow team members at

Peggy Hall Lee '75 | Chesapeake, Va.

HokieBird in Norway In his latest travels with owner Douglas Cameron '70, this HokieBird rode a funicular up Mt. Floyin in Norway to get a view of the city of Bergen.

Corrections: In the Fall 2008 article, "A tour of Tech: Same campus, new lens," the link to the campus pod tour was incorrect. The correct link is We encourage you to listen to the pod tour, written and narrated by Liz Wilson '04, M.A. Ed. '07, which was the source for some of the material used in the article. Also, the article gave an incorrect number for the names carved on the sides of the pylons. Currently, there are 424 names on the pylons.

A look back at campus tours

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the article in the Fall 2008 magazine regarding tours of campus. I used to be a tour guide, and the article brought back great memories of those times. My parents always used to tell me that I had had training in walking backwards for tours because I was the drum major of our band in high school and had to walk backwards during parades! It is also interesting that the tour route hasn’t really changed since I was giving tours. The only difference is that we used to go into a couple of academic buildings to show the prospective students some classrooms.

Thanks again for a great article!

Stephanie Guss Kreitman '99 | Simpsonville, S.C.

John Carnes (chemical engineering '73), a retired Hewlett Packard senior engineer, had the opportunity in September to participate in a mission trip to a homeless children's shelter in Kiev, Ukraine, where there are more than 40,000 homeless children.

Carnes and other members of the team provided more than 400 pounds of clothing and school supplies. The children have a safe place to go for a warm shower, hot meal, and lessons in basic life activities on a daily basis, but the government will not allow the children to stay at the shelter overnight, so they must sleep in deserted buildings and under bridges.

The local government is just now allowing the shelter to care for teenage mothers with infants.

Virginia Tech Magazine cover

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