Tish Loveless Estate Gift Doubles K Women's Athletics Endowment
Ada "Tish" Loveless has added to her enduring legacy as the founder of women's athletics at Kalamazoo College with a planned gift from her estate that more than doubled the size of the existing Tish Loveless Women's Athletics Endowment.
K President Jorge G. Gonzalez says Loveless' gift emphasizes her already hallowed place in the history of the College and demonstrates how a planned gift can extend that recognition to the people and things the donor most cherishes.
The Loveless endowed fund was established in 2007 with a gift from former Hornet athlete Elaine Hutchcroft '63 to "enhance opportunities for women athletes at Kalamazoo College."
Loveless, who passed away in November 2016, served as director of women's athletics from 1953 until she retired in 1986. Before her arrival, there were no women's intercollegiate athletics teams at Kalamazoo College. During her tenure, she established women's varsity teams in tennis, field hockey, archery, swimming, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and cross country, as well as a number of intramurals, sometimes mastering the details of unfamiliar sports in order to provide her students with the opportunities they requested.
She was the most successful coach of women's teams in the history of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the oldest athletic conference in the country. Her teams won 28 league championships: 23 in tennis, four in archery and one in field hockey. Her 1986 women's tennis squad finished third in the nation.
In 1992, Kalamazoo College inducted her into its Athletic Hall of Fame and, in 2015, dedicated the Tish Loveless Court at the Anderson Athletic Center to honor her legacy.
Hornet Volleyball Coach Jeanne Hess, herself a Stetson Society member, says she gathers her team around the Loveless memorial before each game in gratitude for how far the women's athletics program has evolved at the College and as a reminder of what philanthropy has made possible for her players.
Hess called for everyone who has benefited from women's sports at K to ensure the continued enhancement of the program Loveless established.
"If you were fed, or a loved one was fed, it is time to give back," Hess said. She asked for everyone to "give what they can now in memory of Tish and also support the program in their estate plans."
Loveless also believed strongly in the value of a liberal arts education. In addition to her women's athletics gift, she used a portion of her estate to fund a new endowed scholarship in the name of Marilyn Hinkle '44, her lifelong friend, who was a member of K's staff for more than 30 years. The scholarship will go to women studying visual arts or music.
"Tish led the way for women at Kalamazoo College to become full participants in the athletics program, and her name will be forever remembered through the endowment that supports those teams," Gonzalez said. "Now, through her planned gift, she has also ensured that her dear friend will be remembered, as well. Generations from now, K will know, and appreciate, the legacy of Marilyn Hinkle as well as of Tish."
To give in memory of Loveless, please visit our online giving page. Under "Designation" scroll to "Other" and enter "Tish Loveless Women's Athletics Endowment" or "Marilyn Hinkle '44 Scholarship."
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