Indiana State’s story is best told through its graduates and faculty. Here is one of a dozen people who exemplifies the university’s key qualities.
An outstanding cross-country and track star at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Cheryl Bridges Flanagan Treworgy was determined to attend college. Her athletic prowess helped her achieve that goal when she became the first American woman to receive an athletic scholarship to a public university.
The funding was actually a “talented student scholarship,” the brainchild of Dr. Eleanor Forsythe St. John, head of the Indiana State physical education department.
“I wouldn’t be doing what I am today if not for sports and for ISU,” Treworgy said. “That scholarship was a very good investment. In my case, all the jobs I have had have always been sports related.”
A member of the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame, Flanagan Treworgy graduated in 1969 with a degree in physical education. She worked as an instructor at the University of New Mexico and Hamline University, then was named the women’s athletic director at Oklahoma State University in 1976. She later held a similar post as well as coaching track at Michigan State.
Her daughter, Shalane Flanagen is a world-renowned runner on the collegiate, U.S. Olympic and world marathon stages. In 2000, Flanagan Treworgy decided she wanted to keep a photographic record of her daughter’s sports career. Although she didn’t know it at the time, the dedicated mother was embarking on a whole new career.
“I have very few photos of myself competing and I know many others who don’t either,” she said. “I decided while I was there taking photos of my daughter that I would take photos of the other kids and post them on my website (www.PrettySporty.com).”
Before long, schools and parents were seeing her photos and wanting to purchase them. “Now I am primarily the road photographer for a lot of schools,” she said.
One big advantage that Flanagan Treworgy has is that she understands the sport. She also notes that coaches like to go to her website after track meets and look at her photos to discuss what athletes did right and what needs improvement.
“I feel like a historian at times capturing moments for these young athletes,” she said. “I also feel happy that I am giving back something to the sport that gave me so much.”