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Mary Clemency Papers

Identifier: CLM

Scope and Contents

The Mary Clemency Papers consist of materials collected by Mary Clemency related to the history of women’s basketball at the University of Notre Dame. The collection contains original documents, records, ephemera, photographs, and clippings related to the first organized women’s basketball teams on campus from 1972 through 1976, including bookstore basketball, interhall basketball, a women’s basketball interest group, and club basketball. The collection contains some correspondence between Clemency and the Athletic Department about opportunities for women basketball players on campus, as well as materials documenting the first two years of the Notre Dame Club Women’s Basketball team in 1974-75 and 1975-76. In addition, the collection contains articles, research, and notes compiled nearly thirty years later by Mary Clemency and other early Notre Dame women athletes recounting the origins of women’s basketball at Notre Dame. Formats include documents, correspondence, clippings, ephemera, and photographs.


  • Creation: 1972 - 2011


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or publicly disseminate reproductions of any material obtained from the University Archives must be secured from the University Archives and any additional copyright owners prior to such use. Please see Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use of Material for additional information.

Biographical / Historical

After the admission of women as undergraduate students and the beginning of full co-education at Notre Dame in 1972, women students almost immediately looked to participate in basketball. During the 1972-73 academic year, four women’s basketball teams representing Walsh and Badin played in an interhall women’s basketball league. Women also participated in the Bookstore Basketball tournament. During the 1973-74 academic year, eight teams played interhall women’s basketball, and women continued to participate in the Bookstore Basketball tournament. That year, players also organized a women’s basketball interest group and began talking with the Athletic Department about an officially sanctioned club team. In the fall of the 1974-75 academic year, Athletics granted women’s basketball club status and a small budget. The first women’s basketball team to represent Notre Dame on the court played seven games in 1974-75. The club women’s basketball team also played in the 1975-76 and 1976-77 seasons. Women’s basketball earned varsity status for the 1977-78 season.

Mary Clemency, Notre Dame class of 1976, played an important role in the early years of women’s basketball on campus. A member of the varsity basketball team at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Clemency played interhall women’s basketball and bookstore basketball after she arrived on campus at Notre Dame in 1972. She helped organize women’s basketball players, and she corresponded and met with Athletic Department administrators and others on campus to find support for organized women’s basketball at Notre Dame. She was a co-captain of the Notre Dame Club Women’s Basketball Team in both the 1974-75 and 1975-76 seasons. She graduated from Notre Dame in 1976 with Phi Beta Kappa honors and Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.


.5 Cubic Feet (1 document case (letter))

Language of Materials



Arranged topically

Related Materials

Coeducation at Notre Dame ( oral histories - transcriptions) (UORL), Clemency, Mary - complete, open for use (1976):

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Archives Repository

607 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame Indiana 46556 United States
(574) 631-6448