A little more than four decades ago, female students faced widespread discrimination in college sports, academic programs and other university services across the country. It wasn’t until the adoption of Title IX in 1972, which prohibits discrimination based on gender in educational programs receiving federal funding, that women finally began to see the same opportunities as male students on university campuses.
Thanks to the efforts of Athletics Director Willis Casey, NC State welcomed its first women’s varsity sport two years later with the Wolfpack women’s basketball team. In honor of Title IX’s 40th anniversary this year, NC State will host several events this week to recognize the positive impact the law has made for Wolfpack students.
Starting today, campus organizations such as Women in Science and Engineering, the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity, NCSU Libraries, the Department of Athletics and the Women’s Center will offer activities and programs open to the campus community and the public. The events, which will conclude on Thursday, are free.
To kick off the week’s festivities, visitors can attend an informal gathering entitled “What Does Title IX Mean to You?” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in the Brickyard. Participants will have the opportunity to have their photo taken for an upcoming display and share their thoughts on the landmark law.
From 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Heidi Grappendorf, scholar-in-residence at the Women’s Center, will host a documentary screening in the D.H. Hill Library auditorium about Title IX followed by a discussion of the law’s impact on universities across the country.
For alumni, the highlight of the week may be Wednesday’s panel discussion, featuring Joanne Woodard, vice provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity; Michelle Lee, associate athletic director; and Grappendorf. The discussion, which will take place in the D.H. Hill Library assembly room from 3-4 p.m., will highlight Title IX’s contributions to women’s athletics.
The Wolfpack women’s basketball game against the Longwood Lancers will cap off the week of commemorative events at 7 p.m. Thursday in Reynolds Coliseum. During the game, women’s athletic contributions to the university will be recognized with video messages from campus leaders like Chancellor Randy Woodson and Director of Athletics Debbie Yow.
NC State magazine also has a look back in the current issue at Title IX’s implementation on campus and the effects of the legislation on women’s sports at NC State.
“Celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX provides an opportune time to reflect on the positive changes it has brought about, especially the increased participation of women in intercollegiate athletics and academics at NC State, and to recognize the need for continued progress toward equity,” said Woodard, a coordinator of the Title IX anniversary events.