Bessie H. Rudd
Year Inducted: 1975
Bessie H. Rudd was the driving force behind the women’s intercollegiate and intramural sports programs at Pembroke College for better than 30 years. In the process of developing one of the best programs of its type in the country, Miss Rudd achieved national fame for herself and the University. A 1917 Radcliffe College graduate, where she played field hockey and captained the basketball team, Miss Rudd served her Alma Mater as assistant director of physical education from 1924 to 1930 before coming to Pembroke as director of hygiene and physical education. By 1952 she had been promoted to full professor. In the spring of 1947, Miss Rudd sponsored the first collegiate sailing regatta for women, with Pembroke serving as host for most of the leading women’s colleges in the East. From 1930, when she wrote her first article for the National Field Hockey Guide, Miss Rudd was a constant contributor to that magazine, and in 1944 she served as editor. Miss Rudd was elected a national A-rated field hockey umpire in 1931, one of only 17 in the country. Through her professional career, she was considered the authority for any questions on or interpretations of the rules of field hockey. During the last summer she was invited to England and Scotland for an international field hockey conference, and last summer she was invited to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland to serve as Honorary National Umpire of the U.S. Field Hockey Association at the World Championship Tournament of the International Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations. Brown awarded Miss Rudd an honorary Master of Arts, ad eundem degree in 1952, nine years before her retirement. Several years ago, the University created the “Bessie H. Rudd Award,” to go annually to the woman who has done most to promote women’s sports at Brown.