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Gryphon Gallery: Susan Butt

Dorcas Susan Butt attended GNS (Norfolk House) between 1947 and 1953. By the age of 18, Susan was already establishing herself as a top junior in Canadian tennis. 

She had won Victoria and BC Junior and Senior titles in singles and doubles play and the Canadian junior title in 1956. Her accomplishments in the early 1960s earned her the top Canadian ranking in 1960, 1961 and 1966. 

She played internationally in France, Australia and the United States and reached the third round at Wimbledon in 1961, losing to first seed Sandra Reynolds of South Africa. In 1967 she played on the Federation Cup team and served as the non-playing captain on that team from 1970 to 1972. In 2000, Ms. Butt was inducted into the Canadian Tennis Hall of Fame.

Being before the days of tennis professionals, Susan continued her education while training and playing competition tennis, gaining a PhD in Psychology at the University of Chicago. She was on the faculty of the University of British Columbia, where much of her academic work focused on sports. In 1976 she authored the seminal book The Psychology of Sports: Motivation, Personality and Performance of Athletes, which has gone through several editions and translations and became an integral part of training in Cuba in what is arguably one of the world’s most successful athlete training programs in the world.

This is the seventh instalment of a series of articles entitled “Gryphon Gallery” created by our School Archivist that will provide snapshots that celebrate the achievements of a variety of alumni and staff from throughout the history of GNS.