March 13, 2017

Women's History Month 2017: Jeanne Arth '56

Jeanne Arth, at right, and her tennis partner Darlene Hard after winning the women's doubles title at the U.S. Championship in 1958.

"I would like to be remembered as a regular person, who, though happy with my tennis accomplishments, has never put tennis before my life as a teacher or a person. ...I desire above all to be healthy, spend time with family, and value that which I believe. Teaching has always been more important to me than trophies and recognition."

— Jeanne Arth, "Oral History of Jeanne Arth Interview with Jeanne Arth" by Allys Swanson & Sharon L. Van Oteghen

Arth playing tennis at age 6.

It's been fifty years since Jeanne Arth retired from playing professional tennis, and even today her accomplishments as a pioneer in women's athletics are legendary. Arth retired with three National titles, two U.S. Open Titles, and one Wimbledon title. She is easily the most decorated female tennis athlete in Minnesota, which is why it is only fitting that she was the first person ever inducted into St. Catherine's Athletic Hall of Fame.

Having graduated from St. Catherine with a teaching degree, Arth devoted herself to working with students after retiring from tennis. She was also very active in St. Kate's community and was on Alumnae Relation's Board of Directors from 1997–2000.

Despite the considerable number of well-deserved honors and accolades that span her athletic career — from the Minnesota Tennis Hall of Fame to the Wilson International Tennis Hall of Fame —Arth values humility and stresses her enjoyment of the sport as the primary motivation for her career in tennis.

Additional Women's History Month profiles:
Sister Mary Thompson '53 forged path for women in chemistry