In Celebration of Women’s Collegiate Sports: How Universities Are Commemorating the Impact of Title IX for Its 50th Anniversary
June 2022 — By T.J. Duane

Colleges across the country celebrate a variety of anniversaries with their students and alumni, especially when it comes to collegiate sports. But this year’s 50th anniversary of the Title IX amendment is one occasion alumni associations are especially focused on bringing to light.

The Transformational Impact of Title IX in Sports

In 1972, around 30,000 women participated in college sports across the U.S. Up until that point, women had no legal standing against discrimination in higher education. Though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covered race, color, religion, and national origin, gender was left off the list of protected classes. Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, changed everything for female collegiate athletes. The amendment stated that:

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The benefits of participation in collegiate athletics go well beyond those four years on campus. One study found that athlete alumni thrive in four key areas of wellbeing (purpose, social, community, physical) over non-athlete alumni athletes. Once Title IX passed, universities began investing in women’s athletics programs, benefitting hundreds of thousands of additional student athletes across the country. Today, 44% of all NCAA athletes are women.

Bringing Alumni Together in Celebration of Equality

In honor of Title IX’s 50th anniversary, universities are launching BrightCrowd’s digital memory books for past and current female athletes to share stories about their athletic experiences on-campus.

These alumni stories are incredibly powerful, detailing the stark contrast in experiences from the 1970s to now. The books encourage the women to express themselves and build deeper connections amongst their peers within a private community.

While the books bridge the gaps between athletic classes, they also can help foster meaningful engagement between universities and former athletes.

Historically, women have been less likely than men to value participation in alumni associations, but that’s not the case for these affinity-based digital memory books. Through the Title IX books, universities have engaged a large percentage of alumni.

Is your university looking for ways to meaningfully bring together alumni, enhance participation, and increase donations? Book a demo with our team, and we’ll show you how simple it is to launch a book in celebration of Title IX or any cause in as little as one day!

T.J. Duane