Anne Pittman

Ann Pittman

3rd ASURA President

The following material was taken from from the spring 2009 Prime Times

Knowing Anne Pittman was something special.  She was direct, down-to-earth, and we say with affection, amusing. 

When tennis players in Tempe wanted to play they had to go to a high school court or use the ASU courts. When Frank Kush, Ron Erhardt, Jerry Vaughn and I wanted to play doubles we usually went to ASU.  Sometimes in the heat of play Anne would come on the court and shout..."Okay guys, time to leave."  Her girl's tennis team was ready to practice and we had to leave.  We didn't argue with her or even complete the game.  No one disputed orders from Anne!  We just picked up our gear and headed for a local high school.

Anne was a member of the ASU Retirees Association Board.  She didn't have much to say but when she did we all listened.  She was then elected President of ASURA (our third president).  We'd come to the meeting and she would call it to order at exactly 10:00AM.  If you were late...too bad!  She wouldn't fill you in on the missed discussion.  As the meeting was called to order she would announce, "We have an hour and will be finished at 11." 

As the meeting commenced if a speaker was going on too long she would pound the gavel and nicely say something like "Get to the point."  It didn't matter how long the agenda or what problems we had to discuss we always finished at 11.

Anne had only one request when we had an ASURA luncheon.  We had to have carrot cake.  We had so many luncheons with carrot cake we started to get a few complaints.  I think we changed desserts without telling Anne.

I never saw her compete on the tennis court but she must have been very good.  She teamed up with ASU dance professor Margaret Gisolo and they played in senior's double tournaments across the nation.  Neither Anne nor Margaret would tell me how they fared in those tournaments but I believe they won many of them in their age group.

After she gave up playing tennis she concentrated on golf.  Again, she wouldn't tell me her handicap but I'll bet she was a very good golfer.

I really liked Anne!  Lately I haven't seen or talked to her and I will always regret that.  Yes, she was unique.  There will never be an Anne clone.                                                       

By Bob Ellis

From the Arizona Republic

Anne M. Pittman passed away November 25, 2008. She received her bachelor's degree in 1940 at the University of Texas; her pilot's license in 1941; a master's degree in Education from New York University in 1945; and the Ed.D degree from Stanford University in 1972. She taught physical education and dance at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley before coming to ASU in 1952. Early in her career she performed in the folk dance companies in New York City. She teamed with Marlys Waller and Jane Harris Ericson to write "Dance A While", the seminal textbook on folk, social and square dance published in 1952 which remains the most widely used folk dance text book in universities. Professor Pittman distinguished herself with a 337-71 record as the women's tennis coach from 1954-1984. She previously held the title Lady Champion Women's Tennis Coach of the Year in 1975 and 1976. In 1973 she founded the Women's Collegiate Tennis Coaches Association and in that same year coached the U. S. Women's Tennis Team at the World University Games in Moscow bringing home a bronze medal in doubles and taking fourth in singles. In 1995 she was the only coach inducted as a charter member into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women's Collegiate Hall of Fame. As Director of the AZ Women's Golf Association she produced many tournaments state wide. Anne also was very active with the ASU Retirees Association. She was president of ASURA from 1993-1994. She is survived by nieces and nephews.

Anne was interviewed by ASURA's Video History Project team on November 24, 2003. Both the full interview and a short clip from the interview are available for on-line viewing.