During the 1998-1999 college basketball season, the Gallaudet University women's team won the Capital Athletic Conference regular season championship and advanced to the "Sweet Sixteen" round of the NCAA Division III tournament. As much as the team's superb play thrilled the students and other fans, the stellar record they established demonstrated that deaf university athletes could compete among hearing colleges and win, an even more significant achievement in the eyes of the Gallaudet community. Wendy Tiefenbacher, an adjunct faculty member at the time, recognized the unique quality of the women's team and offered her photography students the opportunity to follow it as a class project. When she received the photographs at the end of the year, she was amazed at their unique quality as well. Photo after photo revealed the passion, work ethic, and exuberance of the players as they marched on toward their goal of a championship season. Understanding that she had in hand a striking record of achievement by students at the university, all scholars and artisans in their own right, Tiefenbacher created Deaf Girls Rule. In bringing these elements together, Tiefenbacher has produced an exquisite photographic chronicle of the winning women scholar-athletes and the gifted visual arts students who captured them in images of timeless appeal.
This collection by students in the author's photography class at Gallaudet University chronicles the 1998-1999 season of the school's women's basketball team and traces the rich tradition of women's athletics at the school through full-color and black-and-white photos.
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