Mary Sutherland Ryerse ’90 Inducted 2008
Mary Sutherland Ryerse was an important part of a group that helped the Gustavus women's tennis program become one of the elite programs in Division III tennis in the late '80s claiming three conference titles (1988, 1989, 1990) and winning the NCAA Division III Championship in 1990. A four-year regular and four-time conference champion, Ryerse was the MIAC #2 Doubles Champion in 1988, the #4 Singles Champion in 1989, and the #2 Singles and #1 Doubles Champion in 1990. In 1989, she played #4 singles and #1 doubles on the team that placed fourth at the NCAA Championships and became the first women's team at Gustavus to bring home hardware from a NCAA Championship event. Then in 1990, Ryerse was captain and played #2 singles and #1 doubles on the team that claimed the first NCAA Championship by a women's team at Gustavus. Ryerse also achieved success individually as she advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Tournament twice, once with 2007 Hall of Fame inductee Deanne Sand (1989) and once with Amy McCrea (1990). To cap off her outstanding career, Ryerse was named the recipient of the 1990 Arthur Ashe Award, which is given to the Division III women's tennis player who best combines tennis ability, academics, and community service. It is considered to be the highest honor presented to a Division III tennis player.
Selected to the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor fraternity, Ryerse graduated magna cum laude with a major in psychology in 1990. She spent the next two years in graduate school at the University of Minnesota pursuing a teacher's certificate. In 1992, Ryerse accepted a teaching position in Spokane, Wash., where she taught and served as the curriculum director for the Spokane School District for the next 16 years. She also earned a master's degree in educational administration from Whitworth University. Ryerse stayed involved in tennis by coaching at the high school level and later at the collegiate level at Gonzaga University. In 2007, Ryerse returned to Minnesota where she serves as the regional director for Envictus, an organization that promotes Navigation 101, a grassroots initiative that focuses on college and career readiness for high school students. Mary lives in Woodbury with her husband, Mac ('90) and their three children Grant, Adam, and Luke.