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ASU to celebrate passing of Title IX, 40th anniversary with special event

October 22, 2012

Arizona State University will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark federal legislation that paved the way for equal opportunities in education and sports for women and girls, with an upcoming event that showcases the law’s impact.

The ASU Alumni Association is co-sponsoring the event, “Title IX: Inspiring Opportunity,” with the Sun Devil Club and the Women & Philanthropy group of the ASU Foundation for A New American University. It will take place 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Nov. 7, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix. 

Attendees will learn about the impact of Title IX, which was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, from a panel of speakers that includes Lyn St. James, author and athlete; Charli Turner Thorne, ASU women’s basketball head coach; Sharon Harper, president and CEO of the Plaza Companies; and Sister Lynn Winsor, vice principal for activities and athletics director at Xavier College Preparatory. The panel will be moderated by Paola Boivin, azcentral sports columnist.

Christine K. Wilkinson, president of the ASU Alumni Association, said the association was hosting the event because Title IX’s far-reaching impact on alumni success.

“There are few pieces of federal legislation in the past half-century that have influenced the trajectories of the Sun Devil alumni base so profoundly,” she said. “This piece of legislation single-handedly created unprecedented opportunities for females in education and athletics.”

Tickets to the event are $55 for members and $60 for nonmembers. For more information or to RSVP, visit

Title IX Timeline

When Title IX, the Equal Opportunity in Education Act, became law on June 23, 1972, Arizona State University’s athletics director Fred Miller saw it as an opportunity to build on the institution’s already accomplished women’s athletic programs. Today, 40 years after Title IX was signed into law, ASU women compete in 11 varsity women’s sports and have won 12 NCAA team championships.

Title IX’s influence at the university extended beyond athletics. The act also spurred a number of efforts to address equity issues impacting female students, staff and faculty at ASU, including salary equity, professional development opportunities, benefits and child care.

Landmark ASU accomplishments during the Title IX era:

• 1972: Title IX is passed by the U.S. Congress on June 23 and later signed into law by U.S. President Richard Nixon.

• 1973: ASU’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences issues a Committee Report on the Status of Women. The report offers recommendations for complying with anti-discrimination statutes, addresses salary and promotion issues, and discusses fair recruitment practices.

• 1974: Wells Fargo Arena is dedicated at ASU, and Athletics Director Fred Miller moves the coaching offices for women’s sports from P.E. East to the arena, where they join the coaching offices for men’s sports. Miller also provides each women’s coach with a car, a perk that coaches of men’s sports had had at the university for many years.

• 1975: ASU adds women’s basketball and three other women’s sports to its athletic program over the next four years.

• 1976: Sun Angel Stadium/Joe Selleh Track and the Whiteman Tennis Center facilities are dedicated at ASU.

• Mid-to-late 1970s: Women’s teams at ASU bring home 10 national championships in a variety of sports, including:
   - Softball (’73)
   - Swimming and diving (’73, ’74, ’77)
   - Tennis (’74)
   - Golf (’75)
   - Badminton (’75, ’76)
   - Archery (’76, ’77)

• 1981: University Aquatic Center/Mona Plummer Aquatic Complex is dedicated at ASU. The NCAA begins to offer women’s sports championships for colleges and universities in Division I.

• 1985: Sixteen female ASU employees form University Career Women, a group of non-faculty staff members. The group’s mission is to provide its members professional and personal development opportunities, as well as the chance to take an active role in improving the status of women at the institution.

• 1986: The Pac-10 Conference begins competition in women's sports.

• 1990: The Arizona Board of Regents’ Commission on the Status of Women conducts forums at ASU, addressing topics that include the lack of child care on campus, salary equity, promotion, tenure and the general attitude toward women on ASU’s campuses.

• 1991: ASU President Lattie Coor establishes the ASU Commission on the Status of Women, to monitor the advancement of recommendations made by the Arizona Board of Regents and advise the president on overall progress toward equity.

• 1990s: During a span of 10 years, the Sun Devils capture six national championships in women’s golf.

• 2000s: ASU now boasts 11 women's athletic teams, including a softball program that won the 2008 and 2011 NCAA championships.

• 2012: Female participation in college sports has reached an all-time high 40 years after Title IX was signed into law, with nearly 200,000 female athletes competing on 9,274 NCAA teams.