Dr. Sylvia Giallombardo developed the women’s athletics program and was the first director of women’s athletics at Hofstra, serving in that capacity from 1961 through 1979. As director, she instituted 10 varsity sports for women and introduced Volleyball and Women’s Lacrosse as sports in the 1970’s. She created the first athletic scholarship program for women. Sylvia also coached the Women’s Basketball team from 1958 through 1974, and served as coach of the Softball, Tennis and Fencing programs during her tenure as director of women’s athletics.
In addition to her duties within the athletic department, Sylvia was part of the Hofstra faculty. She joined the faculty in 1957 as a physical education instructor and has the distinction of being the longest-serving faculty member at the University, having served 46 years in a variety of capacities. In 1961 Sylvia moved into the role of chair of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department, a position she held until 1985. At that time, as a tenured professor, Sylvia became vice dean of the School of Education. She later secured the position of associate provost and associate dean of faculties, and at the time of her retirement in 2003 was vice provost for academic affairs.
In addition to her work with Hofstra Athletics, Sylvia co-founded the Long Island Women’s Lacrosse Association, and in 1973-74 she held the title of women’s fencing foil champion of Long Island.