Nancy Force Southwick was a four-year letterwinner in swimming at Denison and a one-year letterwinner in lacrosse. She served as the swimming team captain during her junior and senior seasons. An outstanding athlete, Southwick lost only one swimming race in four seasons of competition. A student leader at Denison, she was a head resident in a Denison dormitory during her junior year.
Southwick was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority and graduated from Denison with a degree in physical education. Following her undergraduate experience, she earned her Master of Arts degree in exercise physiology from Syracuse University.