Connecticut College News
Joan Fluegelman Wexler '5301/16/2009
Joan Fluegelman Wexler ’53 excelled in the athletic arena as a three-sport standout during a period of time when opportunities for women in physical education were limited.
Wexler was a captain and four year letter-winner in field hockey, basketball and softball; and she competed in numerous intramural competitions, playing on several championship teams.
She embraced her leadership role as president of the Athletic Association and held office in the Student Government Cabinet.
Kathryn Smith ’84, chair of the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, recognizes the impact Fluegelman had during her era.
“Prior to Connecticut College going coed in 1969, there weren’t the many advantages for participation and recognition that today’s athletes have. Joan embraced the opportunities available at the time, and she was a leader both on and off the field, as evidenced by the fact that four of her classmates nominated her for the Athletic Hall of Fame,” she said.
According to Barbara Spiro ’53: “Flugy took the lead in actively championing involvement in sports. Her interest in athletics was real and strong; and she regularly encouraged others to participate. By senior year, she was the logical choice for Athletic Association president. Sports were clearly important, but she was certainly not one-dimensional.”
A talented vocalist, Wexler was an active member of the a cappella singing group the Schwiffs that has maintained its popularity as one of the most admired student clubs on campus today.
After receiving her bachelor of arts degree in English, Wexler earned her master’s degree in college administration at Northeastern University. She was a high ranking official at Wheelock College in Boston from 1979-1998. Wexler was the Dean of Admission from 1979-1983, Dean of Admission and Financial Aid from 1983-1993 and Vice President of Enrollment Management from 1993-1998.
Wexler has maintained a lifelong commitment and mission to endorse Connecticut College. She has mentored students who have shown interest in the college admissions profession.
In addition to volunteering as an alumni admissions liaison, she has been a voice for her era as a class correspondent for the Connecticut College alumni magazine.
In 2003, she played a key role in the planning and preparation of her 50th class reunion.
Wexler’s love for Connecticut College spread to two family members who are also Connecticut College graduates: cousin Jeri Fluegelman Josephson ’57 and daughter Debbie Wexler Dombrowski ’78.
In addition to her service to the College, Wexler has been involved in her community in several capacities: long-time Girl Scout leader; nine-year member of the Weston (Mass.) School Board, including two years as chairperson; and volunteer advisor to expectant mothers, counseling them on educational and occupational choices.
Wexler has maintained her athletic involvement recreationally, focusing on the life-long sports of tennis and golf. From 1965-79, she was a member of the A Tennis Team at the Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman Tennis Center (Weston, Mass.). She continues to play tennis and golf recreationally.
A former resident of Weston and Wayland, Mass., Wexler now resides in University Park, Fla.