In July of 2013, Laurie Priest retired after twenty-four years of service as Chair of Physical Education and Director of Athletics at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. Prior to coming to Mount Holyoke in l989, Priest served for seven years as Director of Athletics, Assistant Professor and Swimming Coach at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. She currently is pursuing her love of teaching on a part time basis at Mount Holyoke and the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.
Priest has been active professionally on the state, regional and national level during her 35 year career and served in a variety of leadership roles in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators, the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Dance and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport.
Priest has published numerous articles and is a frequent presenter at conferences. In the spring of l991, she was recognized as a “rising young professional” and awarded the Mabel Lee Award from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and in 1992 was inducted into the Northeast New Agenda Hall of Fame. In 1997, she received the Massachusetts Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Merit Award for outstanding leadership in women’s athletics. In 2002 she was recognized by the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport as their Honor Award recipient and as the NCAA Division III Athletic Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators. In May 2007, she was inducted into the Marymount University Athletic Hall of Fame and in the fall of that same year selected as one of the “100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America” by the Institute for International Sport.
Laurie Priest has spent the majority of her career advocating for and addressing social issues in sport. She is a tireless advocate for equity in sport for girls and women and is
recognized nationally for her work to promote and support Title IX. She has also worked to combat bullying and homophobia in high school and intercollegiate sport, and currently serves as a member of the NIKE LGBT Sport Coalition.
Priest received her B.S. in Physical Education in 1977 from the College of Wooster (Ohio), and her M.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland-College Park in 1981.
In her spare time, Priest guides women’s adventure travel trips to fuel her love of adventure in the out-of-doors. When Priest is not teaching or guiding, you will find her hiking with her partner and dog, or sea kayaking the islands of Maine.