Susie Schoellkopf started riding at the age of three while on a family vacation. She fell in love with it, and along with her two older sisters, Ann Jewett ’63 and Penny Banta, was an active rider as a child, competing at some of the most prominent horse shows in the country, including the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden. One of many highlights during her time at Madeira was winning the Grand Junior Hunter Championship at the Washington International Horse Show two years in a row on “The Robin.” After graduating from Madeira, Susie attended Mount Vernon (now part of Georgetown University) and then stayed in Virginia to ride and work for legendary horsemen Rodney Jenkins and Walter “Jimmy” Lee. In 1980, Susie returned to Buffalo, New York, and began a 35-year-long association with the former Buffalo Saddle and Bridle Club, a landmark facility built in the 1920s. Now known as the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, Susie has been its Executive Director for the past 25 years, as she has the Buffalo Equestrian Center. These programs have thrived under her guidance, providing countless children from the urban areas of Buffalo the opportunity to ride, who might not have otherwise had the chance.
Susie has been a United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Board Member and served on a variety of committees and task forces. She currently sits on the USEF Drugs and Medication Committee and is chairman of USHJA Zone 2. Susie is also a sought-after USEF R-rated judge and has presided over the best shows in the country. She has also been a popular columnist in The Chronicle of the Horse for many years.
Her show stable, SBS Farms has produced five USEF National Champion horses, including Gabriel, GG Valentine, Big Bad Wolf, Kansas and Jersey Boy. Jersey Boy was also the winner of the 2012 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships and is the three-time winner of the George H. Morris Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the Leading Horse of the International Hunter Derby Member Event Championship Qualifying Series. She was awarded the 2009 and 2010 USHJA President’s Distinguished Service Award and in 2014 she was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame.
Contributed by by Ian McCartney, Madeira Director of Equestrian Programs
If you know Dr. Dottie Hayden, you are on her team. While at Madeira, even when she did not have a squash racket or a lacrosse stick in hand, she was actively coaching: building a team; harnessing the talent around her; inspiring individuals; respecting all; honoring the effort in the job that needed to be done. Did I mention fun? Dr. Hayden was also always on the lookout for the fun that happens when a team is engaged in what it loves to do. So if you were on a team led by Dr. Hayden, you were destined to feel satisfied with your efforts, proud of your teammates, and happy at the end of the “season,” whether that season involved sports, college counseling, advising or physical education. Don’t think for a second that only students were on Hayden-led teams, however. She created teams of faculty and staff, too, at the lunch table, in committee (Dottie was on more committees than one could count during her Madeira tenure), in athletic department work, and on graduation day when she, with her team, helped make the event happen seamlessly, year after year.
I saw Dr. Hayden honored off campus when she was inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame. She was as beloved and respected within this high stratosphere of athletics as she was on the Madeira campus. I always knew Dr. Hayden was an accomplished lacrosse referee, thanks to her memorable presentations at each August’s Orientation for faculty and staff, where she shared with us the work she did over the summer on behalf of the sport. However, witnessing her induction made it clear how many and how significant were the contributions Dr. Hayden made to the sport of lacrosse. On campus, it was easy to know she was beloved by all. A favorite memory: at the end of one lovely Reunion day, I found myself walking from the Land and to the Oval with Dr. Hayden. I do not exaggerate when I say that traffic on the driveway came to a complete stop when one outbound car, filled with alumnae, spotted Dr. Hayden. I could hear the screeching before we approached the vehicle. I stood aside as a carful of women jumped out of a moving vehicle so they could envelop their coach and PE teacher in a grand Madeira hug. One alumna said to me, “You don’t understand. This is Dottie Hayden!” I count myself as being on Dr. Hayden’s team. So yes, in fact, I understood completely.
Contributed by M.A. Mahoney, Madeira Dean of Academics and Faculty
Miss Madeira hired Mildred Gaines as head of her school’s riding program in 1941, offering a gifted young woman a position that would enable her to become one of the leading riding instructors in an independent school and a prominent horsewoman in the mid-Atlantic region. When Madge Barclay became her assistant in 1948, she helped her build a program that offered opportunities for riders to participate in local and nationally-rated shows, as well as in combined training events, hunter trials, fox hunting, and a Canadian Mounted Police drill.
Through nearly four decades, Miss Gaines instructed generations of Madeira students. She was actively involved in the local riding community, too, helping to found the McLean Horse Show and the Leesburg Horse Show, both of which benefitted area charities. A summer riding program was open to all ages of riders from the Washington area, and it operated with just a few staff members and a small army of young volunteers. Miss Gaines provided an educational environment in which older students developed leadership skills and mentored younger ones. Her pupils went on to become hunt masters, show judges, trainers, and race horse breeders, as well as doctors, lawyers, diplomats, and teachers.
Miss Gaines’s instructions continue to echo across the years: heels down, shoulders back, head high, give and take, plan ahead, keep your eyes on the fence. She taught us the principles of riding and prepared us to face with greater confidence whatever obstacles lay ahead in our lives.
Contributed by Paula Skallerup Osborn ’70 (Former faculty, English Department chair, former board member)
When I called Nancy Lippe about her nomination to the Madeira Athletic Hall of Fame, we reminisced about our days at Madeira. The 1960s had paved the way for a more relaxed culture on campus. We were given great freedom to find ourselves. Parents did not hover over us nor direct us. Madeira provided a rigorous academic environment, and Nancy had a razor-sharp intellect and a naturally curious mind that found every topic interesting and challenging.
Once Nancy stepped on a field or court, it was clear that she had a completely new set of gifts. She considers herself an athlete, and those who have played with her consider themselves lucky. She is tall and quick, gifted with such world class athletic skills that she raises the bar for everyone by just showing up. At Madeira I played field hockey and basketball with Nancy. Our coach, Miss Jean Gisreal, gave us a great gift…she let us play, and the play was always fast, clean, and filled with joy. Nancy excelled at both sports and also played Lacrosse.
After Madeira, Nancy played field hockey at Stanford. She shared with me that field hockey was not her first love, that she would have preferred basketball or lacrosse. However, in her first year at Stanford, her coach told the team that the US Field Hockey Association was building a Women’s Field Hockey team to compete in Moscow. What began as a way to build skillsets for the team started what Nancy refers to as her journey to selection in the 1980 Olympics.
Over four years at Stanford, Nancy earned two All- American titles and spent her winters flying coast-to-coast on weekends to train with the US Field Hockey Team while majoring in Human Biology. She was selected to the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.
When Nancy reflects on her Olympic journey, she shares that it started with an unexpected open door—the opportunity to compete for a spot at the national level. Once she made the team and began training in Colorado Springs, she was amazed by both the facilities and the training that was offered. When asked about the journey, she is clear that it helped her understand what she was capable of, saying that it gave her the confidence to move forward in her life and to accept that she was capable enough to meet any challenge that came her way.
While her athletic vita is formidable, Nancy is reserved about her many accomplishments. She has earned an Ed.D and is passionate about community engagement and integrating the outdoors into creative educational opportunities at the local level. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts and works for The Umbrella Arts Community Arts Center managing their Arts and Environment program. She serves on several local nonprofit boards, teaches philanthropy at Tufts University and UMass Lowell, and is a facilitator with Communities for Restorative Justice.
Contributed by Jane Wilson ’76
The 2002–03 Swim and Dive Team had ambitious goals at the start of the season. The team had won two consecutive Virginia state championships. Could they win a third, even with some of their best swimmers graduated? Madeira had a core of outstanding senior swimmers in co-captains, Sarah Chuzi, Julia McHugh, Luvien Meyers, and Virginia Sasser, but retaining the title was a long shot.
The team exceeded all expectations, not only securing its hat-trick at the state championships but smashing state records in the process. Freshman superstar Leslie Swinley was named “Swimmer of the Meet” after setting state records in the 200 and 500 Freestyle. Leigh Psaris won the 200 Individual Medley and 100 Freestyle in Madeira record time. Junior diver Jessica Williams won the diving title and the senior captains finaled in all of their events, adding crucial points. The season could be summed up in the final race: the 400 Freestyle Relay. All Madeira had to do was swim “clean” and finish in the top five to win the title. But Madeira girls always aim for the top. Against a growing crescendo of cheers from teammates and parents, the team broke the state record in All American time.
This team was remarkable out of the pool as well. They were unselfish and supportive of each other. The upperclasswomen delighted in the success of the freshman girls. Many of the seniors gave their class rings to the freshmen who wore them proudly. Their coaches, Rod Montrie and Lisa Fisolo (both named Coaches of the State Meet), pushed them when in the pool, but never forgot to underscore the importance of academics and sportsmanship. As parents, we watched the confidence and simple joy with which the team approached its meets grow throughout the year. It’s fitting that this team should be selected as one of the first inductees into the Madeira Athletic Hall of Fame, as they personified Madeira’s core values on so many levels.
Contributed by Toni Ianniello and George Chuzi (parents of Sarah Chuzi ’03)