Washington College Dedicates Penny J Fall Gymnasium


Washington College will dedicate the Penny J. Fall Gymnasium in celebration of Fall's impact on women's athletics.


Washington College is set to honor Penny J. Fall, the architect of women’s intercollegiate athletics at the College, in a special event on April 24. The College will dedicate the Penny J. Fall Gymnasium and celebrate her impact on women's athletics.

This virtual dedication event, which will begin at 10 a.m., will include a video watch party, remarks, and more. Click here to register.

Fall played an integral role in physical education instruction and the development of women's athletics at Washington College from 1969 to 2001. With sole responsibility for women's athletic training, equipment and game management, and scheduling, Fall worked hard to build the women's athletic program from the intramural level into a competitive intercollegiate power. Her persistence pre- and post-Title IX ensured that today's women athletes can expect attention and resources equal to those of the men's athletic programs, and strengthened the College's commitment to equity for all. 

Fall was known for devoting many long hours not just to coaching and recruiting, but also to driving vans, ordering equipment, and administering the program, sometimes almost singlehandedly. She was similarly formidable within the community. Around 1980, she became the first female member of the Kent-Queen Anne's Rescue Squad.

“Penny’s legacy is every female student-athlete who wears the maroon and black today and represents Washington College in athletic competitions – the female athletes who don’t have to beg for new uniforms, for a field to play on, or a full-time coach,” said Sarah Feyerherm, vice president of Student Affairs.

In 1997, Fall was elected to the Washington College Hall of Fame.

By the time of her death in a car accident in December 2001, Washington College went from having no women's varsity sports teams to 10 such teams, with more than180 female student-athletes participating. At that time, Fall was serving as senior woman administrator and professor of physical education.

Since 2003, the College has also recognized Fall through the Penny J. Fall Award, which is given annually by the Student Government Association to the female athlete who successfully continues the tradition and legacy set by Penny Fall. The recipient is chosen for her leadership on campus and for organizing and executing academic and extracurricular activities that benefit the entire Washington College community. Olivia Anne Robb was the 2020 recipient.