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April 08, 2019

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Claire Doran Stancik

On 4/15/1983 Claire Doran Stancik was inducted into the Case Reserve Athletic Club Hall of Fame (now called the Spartan Club Hall of Fame). She was the second woman inducted into the university’s athletic hall of fame.

Ms. Stancik was a golfing champion. She was the first (and only woman we could document in the Archives) who received a varsity letter at Western Reserve University. In 1949 WRU awarded her the varsity “R.” This was 22 years before the first varsity women’s sport at CWRU (volleyball).

Claire Doran receiving the her varsity letter

In 1940 she was known as Mary Claire Doran when she applied to Flora Stone Mather College of WRU. She graduated from Mather with a B.A. in Classics in 1945 and earned her M.A. in Physical Education in 1947 from the Graduate School. As an undergraduate she was a member of Delta Phi Upsilon sorority, Mortar Board, and the Athletic Association. She was part of the staff for the Mather Record (student newspaper) and the Polychronicon (yearbook). Stancik was also a member of Student Council. She graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received the Emma Maud Perkins Latin Prize as a freshman. Stancik held a teaching fellowship in Physical Education as a graduate student.

Claire Doran as a student

Upon receipt of her degrees she was a teaching assistant at Hood College 1947-1948. Stancik then taught in the Cleveland and Cleveland Heights school districts 1948-1956. She married Robert Stancik in 1955 and had 4 children.

At age 17 in 1942 she won the first of 7 Cleveland Women’s Golf Association championships (1942, 1943, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1973). In 1949 when she received her varsity R letter, she had been the youngest woman to win the championship and the only woman to hold the title five times. She also competed in the Women’s Western Amateur Championship at the age of 18. Eventually she won 2 Women’s Western Amateur titles - in 1953 and 1954. Other accomplishments include:

-representative for the U. S. on the Women’s Amateur Golf Curtis Cup Team vs. Great Britain and Ireland in 1952 and 1954. She won all her matches.
-Ohio Women’s champion 4 times: 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954
-runnerup in the 1950 Titleholders tournament (behind the legendary Babe Didrikson Zaharias)
-won the Marion Miley Trophy in 1951 and 1953
-won the 1951 Women’s Doherty Title
-in 1976 she was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame

Claire Doran Stancik died 11/16/2016 in Naperville, Illinois. She was survived by her husband and 4 children.

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