Charlotte Joslin '90

All-Around - Hall of Fame class of 2005














Harvard Athletic Achievements

Joslin is quite deserving of this honor.  She was the first woman athlete in the history of the Ivy League to earn First Team All-Ivy honors in three unrelated sports – field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse.  A two-time All-American in lacrosse, she helped lead the women’s lacrosse team to its first ever National Championship in 1990. 
 

She earned player of the year in ice hockey and field hockey as well as earning regional All-American honors in field hockey.  A co-recipient of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Award in 1990, Joslin was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 1987 and Player of the Year in 1989 and 1990 for hockey, and 1989 for field hockey.  A four-year First team All-Ivy in hockey, she still holds the record for goals in a career by a defenseman with 72, is second for goals in a season by a defenseman with 26 and ranks 10th for career scoring with 112 points (72 goals, 60 assists). 
 

In field hockey, she was a Regional All-American in 1987 and 1988, and First Team All-Ivy in 1987 and 1989.  She is tied for first for most goals in a game with four against Fairfield in 1988, tied for fifth in career points with 57 and third for career assists with 17. 
 

In lacrosse Joslin, along with earning First Team All-American in 1989 and 1990, was also second team All-American in 1988, and first team All-Ivy in 1988, 1989, and 1990.  She remains fourth in career goals with 125 and fifth in career points with 175.
 

Remembering Harvard Athletics

I want to start by thanking the Varsity Club and the Hall of Fame Committee for all of its hard work in supporting Harvard Athletics for current students and for keeping us alums in the loop by providing stories and information about all of the College’s incredibly talented teams and individual player achievements.  Thank you for this wonderful honor – I feel very fortunate to be included in this talented group being inducted tonight.

A few months ago, I overheard one of our four children say with great enthusiasm to a friend, “My mother is getting deducted from the Harvard Hall of Fame soon.”  I am thrilled to be sharing this “deduction” evening with so many classmates, teammates, coaches, family and friends, including my roommate Maggie Vaughan Fontham, who was the toughest and most talented defensive player I ever had to square off against in lacrosse.  She was a stealth force who would always deliver the key defensive play in many of our toughest games and she elevated everyone’s level of play.  Congratulations, Maggie!

Much of the credit for this honor I owe to my parents, who have been unwavering fans and supporters from the very beginning.  Thank you both for enabling me, from a very young age, to pursue my passions with the proper perspective and balance and helping me take advantage of every opportunity available.  I was always quietly encouraged to be my best, although I know I was not always true to my summer training plan.  As the months quickly slipped by and August loomed, I would finally don my running shoes (after much sage parental input), run into Needham, sometimes stopping at Baskin Robbins for a scoop of mint chocolate chip before running home…..I was certainly well-rested after the summer which resulted in a great deal of pain and blisters during pre-season field hockey.  Thank you, mummy and daddy, for: being at every home game, journeying to countless away games, providing coaching and game analyses, procuring the best cleats and skate-sharpenings, fixing various broken windows, packing a multitude of sustaining snacks and lunches, and coordinating logistics.  You never pushed me to do anything and always made apparent your enthusiasm and love of all my sports and teams  – I never considered not playing all three because I was having too much fun!

I also share this honor with my brother, Scott, who cultivated my early ruler hockey, skating, football, and lacrosse skills in our daily basement or backyard competitions.  Even though Scotty is five years older, he always included me and made me feel like an equal, in age, gender, and skill, by letting in his fair share of sympathy goals to even the score.  I was so completely convinced that I was as good as he was that I started playing that way which certainly helped my confidence and skill level.  We played endlessly for the shear joy of it – just one on one for hours.  I was Giles Gilbert and he was Bobby Orr.  Scotty taught me many things growing up, but most enduring was how to have fun and how to play creatively.  Thanks for your energy, spirit, selflessness and enthusiasm, which still shine through in our ongoing street hockey games, now with the next generation.

Harvard has been a huge part of my life, literally!  My father and mother met on a blind date after a Harvard football game.  One of my father’s teammates, who was to meet my mother after playing  Dartmouth, was injured during the game.  Assuming that my father was a safe bet, being from Minnesota, this friend asked my father to fill-in for him and to take my mother on the date.  The rest is history!  My first job, at age six, was to sell drink tickets at Palmer Dixon for the class of ‘57 post-football game receptions.  I reveled in the opportunity to see my parents’ friends, hear about Pi-Eta parties and Eliot House antics and stories of Dr. Finley.  Early on, I truly enjoyed witnessing the humor and intelligence that made my parents’ spirited friendships unique.  Harvard intrigued me early on.

Fully planning on entering Harvard in the fall of ’85, I arrived a year late.  After traveling for a summer in Greece with my high school archaeology teacher and friends, I decided that college could be put-off, and I embarked on a year of experimentation, travel, study and work.  My year away, out of the norm, allowed me to recharge, try new things, focus my interests and passions, experience new cultures and realize how much I missed being part of my teams.  I was totally energized and eager to start college.
 

Freshman fall, I was very excited to be back playing field hockey.  The smell of freshly cut grass and Ben Gay, the sounds of cleats clicking off the pavement, the commotion of the training room, whistles and laughter on the field, and jokes told during stretching made the introduction back to school easy.  On a day off, however, my thoughts turned to hockey when I heard that there was open ice available at Bright from 2 – 4pm.  I threw on my sweats, grabbed my skates, and flew down to the rink on my bike.  I remember being the first one on the ice - everything was quiet and cold, and it was pure joy to be there.  Then, about ten of the men’s team showed-up and then probably about twenty more – no coaches, just hard skating, no sticks and a tennis ball.  I was surprised none of the women’s team had shown up, but, maybe they were late.  Near the end of the hour, this adorable hockey player, Les, introduced himself to me – I had spoken to no one else while I was on the ice.  We chatted for awhile until he very kindly mentioned that if I wanted to stay for the women’s practice too, it would be starting shortly.   I felt like such a dolt but was glad to be so gently informed that I had just skated in the Men’s Varsity Captain’s practice.  Les, thanks for being my greatest fan, friend, supporter and current partner in chaos with our fourpack. 

By the spring, I was ready for the change from indoors to the open feeling of the lacrosse field.  Even though my skills were always rusty and I was the only forward never to figure out how to shoot with my left hand, I tried to compensate with my energy and enthusiasm, which came from a new season and new teammates.  I worked on my patented reverse, shovel, bounce shot to try to make-up for my inadequacies; goalies had no idea where the ball was going and neither did I.

I have come up with a few numbers and statistics, in no particular order, that demonstrate the uniqueness of my experience playing field hockey, hockey, and lacrosse at Harvard:

1)    Missed eight pre-seasons: I did not have to suffer through dry-land training in hockey or early morning February lacrosse practices in Briggs because I was playing field hockey or hockey

2)    Never went to the weight room which I would never get away with now

3)    Never went on a recruiting trip for any of my sports – the world has changed – but I am not sure that any coach felt certain that I would be playing their sport

4)    Suffered only one badly sprained ankle, a few black eyes and many bangs, scrapes, and calluses but was very lucky to be able to keep playing throughout my four years

5)    Traveled to Holland with field hockey, Switzerland with hockey, and England with lacrosse, where we learned new strategies and skills, on and off the field

6)    Played approximately 250 games while at Harvard, practiced 780 hours, and logged 620 bus hours

7)    Have 9 DHA sweatshirts that my children are now beginning to enjoy – thanks Chet and Arty for years of friendship and help above and beyond what was necessary

8)    Was coached by three wonderful head coaches: Sue Caples, John Dooley and Carole Kleinfelder, who shared their skills, wisdom and love of their respective sports, coaching our teams to our highest levels while building strong and enduring programs at the College

9)    Played with 135 exceptionally bright teammates and friends who shared their passions, skills, histories, families, joys, interests, problems, and humor which made my athletic and college experience truly outstanding and continually rewarding through my ongoing friendships – thank you to my wonderful teammates who all made me a better player and person

Fifteen years later, even though the teammates and the sports are not all the same, I cherish the many occasions I still have to see and play with my Harvard friends on the ice, course, field, and court.  Somewhat surprising to me, my athletic afterlife’s schedule is increasingly busy.  I am reminded everyday by our children, Morgan, Watson, Hayden and Grayson of the need for creative play and unstructured games.  May we all play on as long as physically possible and keep our passions strong.