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Anne Brewer
She played in the first intercollegiate ice hockey game and still plays today. And when Brown graduate Anne Brewer isn't on the ice, she is both a doctor and a reverend.

Recruiting practices in collegiate athletics today are highly regimented and governed by innumerable laws. Coaches woo athletes with elaborate promotional information, charm them with impressive school tours and contact them constantly with personal notes and correspondence.

It hasn't always been like that.

As a freshman at Brown in 1967, Anne Brewer was recruited to the women's ice hockey team by a sign in Emory Hall that read: "Women's Ice Hockey: No experience needed. We'll teach you."

Brewer started enjoying athletics as a high school student at the Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. At the all-girls school, Brewer played field hockey, basketball, volleyball and did synchronized swimming. At that time, however, most women's sports were considered recreational and not competitive.

"I grew up pre-Title IX, when women's sports weren't taken seriously by most people," Brewer said.

Brewer's decision to attend Brown was based on a summer science program she attended there prior to her senior year of high school, not an athletic recruiting trip. But her experiences as a member of the fledgling Brown's club ice hockey team continue to affect her life, even today.

"I played in the first ever U.S. collegiate women's ice hockey game in Kingston, Ontario, in 1968," Brewer said. "I was too new at the sport to really appreciate the magnitude of it at the time, however."

Brewer still plays hockey as often as possible, referring to it as her "major recreational activity." She continues to support the Bruins' women's ice hockey team, returning recently for an annual Alumnae game and gathering.

"I haven't missed many," Brewer said.

Brewer's dedication to the sport she picked up on a whim in college is made even more impressive by her other pursuits in life.

Following her tenure at Brown, Brown attended the University of Vermont for medical school, where she continued playing intramural hockey, and graduated in 1979.

Today she is the assistant director of the Family Medicine Residency Program at Stamford Medical Center in Connecticut.

She is also an ordained Episcopal minister, volunteering part time at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, where her husband, the Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski is the Cathedral Dean.

While an enormous amount of time is taken up seeing patients and supervising residents in her vocation as a family physician and in her avocation volunteering as a minister, Brewer considers her time on the ice a vacation from everything else.

"I have lots of things that I love doing -- and they're energizing and different enough that it staves off tedium," Brewer said in an interview with Brown Alumni Magazine. "They also nurture and reflect different aspects of my personality."

Brewer may have been recruited as an Ivy League athlete by a sign in a dormitory hallway, in an era before women's collegiate athletics were considered on-par with the men, but she still represents the ideal Ivy student-athlete coaches strive (and have much bigger budgets) to recruit today.

— Josi Carlson

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