Gale Currey was probably the biggest reason Willamette offered women's athletics as early as the 1920's and therefore is considered the pioneer of women's sports at the University. Currey taught and coached at Willamette from 1926-66 and later served as a physical therapist at hospitals and clinics. Under Currey, the Willamette Department of Physical Education for Women encouraged ever women on campus to participate and gave them the opportunity to train for leadership in physical education. A graduate of New York State College, Currey received her master's from New York University and doctorate from Stanford. She spent several summers studying and directing youth camps in Europe. Currey died on December 28, 1988.