AN Softball in 1981
St. John’s students play softball on back campus in Annapolis in 1981.

ANNAPOLIS—The St. John’s intramural program has a long history of excellence.  A college public relations director attempted to get some national recognition for the program in a letter dated September 29, 1983.

“I am writing to see if Sports Illustrated would want to consider writing an article which would permit its readers to take a look at an intramural program that works, that surely must be one of the most exemplary of its sort in the United States,” wrote Rebecca Wilson, then director of public relations at St. John’s College in Annapolis.

“In this day of costly sports programs . . . it stands in marked contrast as an alternative and highly successful way of having athletics supplement and strengthen rather than compete with academics.”

Enclosed in the proposal were articles from the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. The Sun story—written in 1973 and titled, “Intramural sports program at St. John’s is 34 years old and thriving”—quotes former and longtime Director of Athletics Bryce Jacobsen.

“Our students play to win, . . . but they’re not under the same pressure as at other schools. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere here and we do have an awful lot of fun,” Jacobsen said in The Sun.

After 76 years, the program remains an integral part of the college’s extracurricular life. The five teams—the Druids, Greenwaves, Guardians, Hustlers, and Spartans—compete in sports ranging from ultimate Frisbee and soccer in the fall to netball and basketball in the winter.

“Students are extremely welcoming and want people to come out and play even if they’ve never touched a ball before. Some people feel like, ‘Oh, I’m not very good at this.’ It does not matter,” said Michael McQuarrie, director of athletics on the Annapolis campus.

While it does not appear this 1983 letter resulted in a mention in Sports Illustrated, the St. John’s intramural program has received some great press over the years.

—Brady Lee (AGI14)