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One of the most important individuals in the history of women’s intercollegiate athletics on Morningside Heights, Mario R. Philips left a legacy of excellence spanning generations of Barnard College women.

A member of the Barnard College Physical Education Department for nearly 40 years, Phillips served as chair for the last 13 years of her tenure.

Philips was a guiding force for women’s participation in athletics and established the framework for Barnard’s first intercollegiate athletics department. Philips served as Barnard’s first Athletics Director and, in 1975, began the basketball, volleyball, and swimming & diving programs that competed in the AIAW (Associaton of Intercollegiate Athelitcs for Women).

In less than a decade, the Barnard Athletics Program became viable and successful, helping the Consortium take shape in 1983.

Today, the graduating female scholar-athlete with the highest grade point average in the Columbia-Barnard Athletic Consortium is awarded the Marion R. Philips Watch, a fitting tribute to the legacy of this dynamic athletics administrator and educator. 

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