Hall of Fame

Suzanne Jones Walmsley
Track & Field

Graduation Year


Induction Year


Hall of Fame

Harvard Athletic Achievements

Suzanne was the 1991 Radcliffe College Alumnae Association Award winner. She was a five time All-American and eight time All-Ivy honoree. In 1989 she was the country’s fourth-ranked, and number one collegian, 10,000 meter runner. A runner-up in the NCAAs in the 10,000 in 1989, Suzanne won two ECAC individual titles and was an NCAA District I cross-country champion. Also during her time with the Crimson she was a member of the 1989 U.S. World University Games track & field team.

Hall of Fame

Remembering Harvard Athletics

“With Crimson in triumph flashing, ‘midst the strains of victory, old Eli’s hopes we’re dashing into blue obscurity….” As I sat at my desk studying, the words of this familiar song could be heard in the distance. It was the Tuesday night before The Game in 1988. This was my first semester at Harvard, having transferred from the University of Maryland at College Park after my freshman year. I was living in an off-campus apartment at 29 Garden Street as transfers were not allowed to move directly into a House. ‘Boy, these Harvard students really start their partying early’ I thought as I resumed my reading, thinking it unusual that the celebration had traveled beyond the main campus. While I tried to concentrate, the singing grew louder. ‘Great’, I thought. ‘I just hope that this party ends early.’ I would not be attending The Game as I was flying out to Ames, Iowa to compete in the NCAA Division I Cross Country Nationals. Now, I was trying to get ahead on my schoolwork before I left for the championship. The singing grew louder still and soon it was accompanied by a knock on my door. Momentarily startled, I opened the door cautiously. I was stunned to see the members of the women’s cross country team standing at my door, carrying a fro-yo cake inscribed with the words “Good Luck, Suzanne!” They had come to deliver a few gifts and their best wishes. I was truly touched. While none of them would be accompanying me to Iowa, I knew that they would be thinking of me on Monday and I of them. Their support and encouragement all season had been beyond my expectations and I would draw on this when I raced, hoping to represent our program well. The following night, I was greeted with similar good luck wishes from the men’s team during dinner at Kirkland House. They presented me with a Harvard Cross Country t-shirt signed by each member of the team. Again, I was caught off-guard and moved by their support. My teammates were truly excited for me and it made my participation that much more meaningful. Success is much more fun when it is shared. I knew that, no matter how I raced, my teammates were proud of me and I wanted to prove that their confidence in me was well-placed. My race did go well and I was named All-American. On the ride back to the airport, I wrote a note to my teammates, thanking them for making me feel welcome in my first season, for challenging me to achieve, and for being good friends. “Thanks to you,” I wrote, ‘we are all All-American.” It has been almost 18 years since I earned that first All-American certificate. I knew then, as I do now, that as important an accomplishment as that was for me, what made my athletics experience significant were the relationships that I had with my teammates and my coaches. It is truly a gift to be a member of a team: to be a teammate, to be a friend. While I am admittedly terrible about keeping in touch, the memories of the days spent practicing and competing with these extraordinary individuals remain near and dear to my heart. My teammates and coaches are forever a part of me and I cherish the memories of the carefree afternoons we spent together down at Soldiers Field. Success is not achieved in a vacuum and as such, I share this induction with so many people who helped make it possible. First, my parents and my sister who, despite my serious lack of athletic ability, always made me feel like I could accomplish anything. Years of trying everything from dance to figure skating to team sports eventually led to running where I finally found my talent. Had I ever realized how awful I was at all of my earlier endeavors I might never have had the confidence to keep trying new things. Thanks, Mom, Dad, and Courtney for not cluing me in! My parents were always telling me to “just do your best and have fun” and they meant it. I have also been blessed with extraordinary coaches whose knowledge of the sport and ability to motivate their athletes is unparalleled. I realize now that to have had one such coach is a gift, but to have had several is a miracle. My high school coach, George Rose, saw my determination to succeed and worked with me every step of the way to help me accomplish my goals. He turned a novice runner into an All-State competitor and prepared me well to take the next step in college. Charles Torpey, my coach at Maryland, helped me transition to college running and set the bar high. It is no coincidence that the pinnacle of my running success was achieved at Harvard. Frank Haggerty is a teacher in every sense of the word. He can see straight into the hearts of his athletes and accepts them for who they are without judging. He gets to know the “young students” as people and this makes him even more effective as a coach. He is truly invested in their growth and development, not only as athletes, but as people as well. I learned much about leadership and motivation by observing him. In all the years that I have known Frank, I have never heard him yell or seen him get angry – and I’m sure that he’s had plenty of cause for both! He is direct and honest, but kind and, in addition to making me a better athlete, made me a better person as well. Ed Sheehan recruited me to Harvard and, as such, is directly responsible for my being here today. Sadly, Ed passed away last year, but I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to thank him for his coaching years ago. He was always willing to meet to help me prepare for a particular race course or to face a specific competitor and to help me develop a racing strategy. Our Thursday morning breakfasts at Kirkland House to prepare for the upcoming weekend’s race helped me enormously and I am eternally grateful for the gift of his time and energy. There were so many others at Harvard who went out of their way to make my time here so special: While they did not coach me directly, Walter Johnson and Al Bashian were great supporters and always there to cheer me on or congratulate me after a meet. The athletic administrators were extraordinary and they inspired me to pursue a career in college athletics. Their tireless efforts to provide the best athletic experience for Harvard student-athletes did not go unnoticed and I count many of them among my mentors. The members of the Friends of Harvard Track always had a kind word for me at the meets and ensured that the opportunities were there for me to compete and achieve at the highest level. And finally, my teammates helped make the experience fun and were an important part of an extraordinary time in my life. I am truly humbled by the honor of being inducted into the Harvard Athletics Hall of Fame. I have always been proud to have been a Harvard athlete and I am overwhelmed at the thought that Harvard is proud to include me with such a tremendous group of student-athletes.