This is the 50th Anniversary of Title IX — an extraordinary game changer. Pagliacci is thrilled to support the women athletes of Husky Nation, and the countless women they inspire.
The University of Washington is a leader in collegiate women’s athletics. Husky women’s teams have won national championships in softball, volleyball, rowing, cross country, and golf and enjoyed triumphs in many other sports.
Fifty years ago, women’s athletics might as well have been happening on another planet. Mostly, if at all, they happened at the club level. There were no scholarships or news coverage. Title IX, signed into law by Richard Nixon on June 23, 1972, intended to equalize college admissions. The surprisingly resilient law was a simple and fair message of equal educational opportunity for women and men.
While not the direct aim of the law, women’s athletics became the most visible success of the law. Without Title IX, there would be no US Women’s World Cup Championships, no Sue Bird, no Kelsey Plum.
We will never know how many young girls were inspired to play basketball after watching Kelsey Plum score 57 points on senior night in 2017. But we do know that of college athletes today, nearly 50 percent are women. Fifty years ago, that number was 15 percent. Athletes like Ke
lsey Plum are the result of the spectacular rise in opportunities for girls in youth athletics. While only the highest-level athletes play at the collegiate level, the benefits of athletic competition at any level are immense. Sports bring us together as teammates and as fans.
The profound impact of Title IX on the field is even greater off the field. Opportunities for women have expanded exponentially in many professions — doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, and even astronauts. Innumerable lives have been changed for the better, not just for women. We now have a generation of young women — and men — whose moms were college athletes, brain surgeons, computer scientists, or business executives. That benefits everyone.
Sponsoring UW Women’s Athletics is an opportunity for Pagliacci to celebrate the University of Washington’s longstanding commitment to gender equity and to honor the dedication and talent of the many women athletes that thrill us with their individual and team accomplishments—and the many women they inspire!