OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami University Athletic Department and the Miami University Women's Center are "Celebrating 40 Years of Title IX" with a series of events this weekend dedicated to educate and inform current student athletes, faculty and the community about how far women's athletics have come since the 1972 Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for gender equality in sports and administration.
The public is invited to take part in the celebration, which begins Friday, Oct. 5 with a lecture from three-time goal medalist swimmer Nancy Hogshead-Makar entitled "The Personal, Political and Practical of Title IX."
Hogshead-Makar, a Professor of Law at the Florida Coastal School of Law and the Senior Director of Advocacy for the Women's Sports Foundation, will speak about the legislation of Title IX and where women's athletics is and should be 40 years later.
The presentation is free and will be held at the Farmer School of Business building in room 1000 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Oct. 6, the celebration continues with the "Luncheon with the Legends" event, which will be held at the Marcum Conference Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"We are going to put in one room current student athletes who never knew of inequity and let them hear the stories from the mouths of the people that actually lived it and fought for it," Miami University Associate Athletic Director Jennie Gilbert said. "Their lives were totally and completely changed because of the opportunities that were offered to them."
More than a dozen former and current female athletes, coaches and administrators with Miami University connections will be in attendance. The attendees include, but are not limited to: Lois Gleason, Gaby Downey, Lisa Dankovich, Theresa Shepherd, Susan Lipnickey, Carolyn Condit, Pat Troesch, Nancy Sturgeon, Karen Womack, Lil Fesperman, Candice Honroth-Beaver, LeeAnn Shoker and Jennifer Shea Vallo.
The luncheon, which will have one legend present at each reserved table, will be followed by a panel discussion with at least eight speakers that will answer questions and recall their experiences about how Title IX has changed their lives and the culture of how women are perceived, not only in athletics, but also in society in general.
"For 40 years we've had legislation in place now that has impacted an entire generation or two," Gilbert said. "The thing that has got me most excited is that these current athletes have no idea that there was ever inequity. They walk into a gym and expect to be able to practice in the same gym with the boys, because that's been their whole lives. And yet, there have been women my age and just a little bit older that realize that was totally different quite a bit ago."
Gilbert noted that there is still "work left to be done" in terms of women's athletics being equal to men's athletics.
Female coaches and administrators are paid less on average than their male counterparts and there are far more male coaches coaching women's sports than there are women coaching men's sports.
Tickets are still available to the "Luncheon with the Legends" and can be purchased by contacting the Miami Ticket Office at (513) 529-HAWK or online by clicking HERE.
"We would just love to have the community involved," Gilbert said. "We would love to have the fans come and talk about the changes they've seen here at Miami or in their culture."