Penn men had been shooting competitively for 30 years before women at the University got their own rifle team. When the team was set up in 1927, Betty Funston—the gun-toting sharpshooter in the photograph—served as its captain. Here, Funston is seen practicing her aim in the stadium in Franklin Field.
According to the University Archives’ public services archivist Nancy Miller, riflery is mentioned in later yearbooks through 1952. The 1948 issue shows the women’s team practicing in the indoor rifle range in the north arcade of Franklin Field. The Archives itself took over that “Old Shooting Gallery” space around 1955 and remains there today. After the early 1950s the history of the women’s rifle team is harder to trace, with just one 1967 article in the Daily Pennsylvanian mentioning a female Penn student who was a member of the rifle club.
For more on this and other notable moments in Penn history, visit the University Archives web site at www.archives.upenn.edu.
Originally published on January 12, 2006