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Dr. Caroline B. Sinclair

Dr. Caroline B. Sinclair

Dr. Caroline B. Sinclair was head of women’s athletics and intramurals at Madison College.   She was chairman of the physical education department at James Madison University, then Madison College, from 1950-66 and was a strong proponent of intercollegiate sports for women at a time when the majority of educational leaders were neither concerned about nor supportive of those opportunities.  She was an outstanding teacher, coach and administrator who set high standards and challenged colleagues and students to strive to be the best.

Dr. Sinclair started the fencing program at James Madison and was responsible for the introduction of women’s fencing at the collegiate level in Virginia.  The state champion team trophy is named in her honor.

Sinclair was the first recipient of the Pioneer Recognition Award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) and was one of 12 recipients of the American Alliance Centennial Award, presented in 1985 in recognition of significant contributions to the growth, progress and programmatic enhancement of the Alliance.

Sinclair served as President of Virginia AHPERD (1958-59), the Southern Association for Physical Education of College Women and the Southern District of AAHPERD (1954-55) and was a member of AAHPERD’s Board of Directors.  She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of William and Mary and was inducted into the William and Mary Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978.  Dr. Sinclair was listed in “Who’s Who in American Education,” “Who’s Who in American Women” and “Virginia Lives.”  She received honor awards from Virginia AAHPERD (1965), the Southern District of AAHPERD (1951) and AAHPERD.  She was a life fellow of AAHPERD, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and an honorary national official in basketball and swimming. 

Sinclair was a native of Gloucester County, VA, a JMU professor, and an emirate of health and physical education.  She also held a Ph.D. from New York University.