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ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 Alliance Announce Title IX 50th Anniversary Celebration Campaign

Feb 2, 2022

Three Conference-Wide Campaign will commemorate historic milestone though variety of initiatives

GREENSBORO, NC & ROSEMONT, IL & SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 Alliance today announced plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX through a multi-pronged campaign entitled “Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX TogetHER.”

The announcement and campaign logo unveiling coincides with National Girls and Women in Sports Day, a national event that inspires girls and women to realize their full power through participation in sports.

Title IX, the groundbreaking federal civil rights law, prohibits gender discrimination in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. Since its passage, the historic legislation has positively impacted the lives of women and provided a pathway in their continued pursuit of achieving gender equity in collegiate athletics.

In the months leading up to Title IX’s golden anniversary, the Alliance will raise awareness of the upcoming milestone during several key dates, including Women’s History Month (March), International Women’s Day (March 8) and June 23rd (the anniversary of Title IX).  

The celebration will then significantly ramp up during the 2022-23 academic year as the three conferences collaborate on a series of public service announcements and combine efforts to recognize and highlight student-athletes, coaches and administrators that have made a significant impact during the last 50 years.  This impact on the fields and courts includes women’s teams at the Alliance’s 41 world-class member institutions having combined to win 346 NCAA championships, and women accounting for 139 of the 194 medals earned by Alliance student-athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, including 51 of 69 gold medals.

Additionally, the Alliance’s Title IX 50th Anniversary Celebration logo will be featured on apparel, signage and other branding items throughout conference championships and media days. The three leagues will also honor the storied history and success of former, current and future female student-athletes, coaches and administrators through a variety of program offerings.

The Alliance will also identify multiple opportunities to amplify individual member institution celebrations throughout the campaign period.

“There should be no shortage of celebrations surrounding Title IX and what it has meant and provided to so many during these past 50 years,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “As we commemorate the anniversary of this historic milestone, we must also collectively focus on ensuring meaningful decisions are made to further propel fairness and equity within college athletics and our broader society.”

“Title IX helped open the door for women in college athletics,” said Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren. “This historic and revolutionary piece of legislation has inspired many talented young women across several generations to pursue their dreams through higher education and the power of sport. Much work remains to fulfill the promise and purpose of this law, and we look forward to celebrating and honoring Title IX’s golden anniversary across the 41 member institutions that comprise the Alliance in the coming months.”

“Title IX has stood for 50 years as a beacon of light in the fight for gender equality in education and college athletics,” said Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff.  “This golden anniversary is a moment to celebrate all those who made this seminal law possible and those who have benefitted from Title IX to help achieve their dreams.  At the same time, it is a moment to recognize that much progress remains to be made to reach our collective goal of full gender equity in college sports.”

Quoting Head Coaches from the Alliance:
“We’ve come a long way and I’m really proud of that and proud to have been a part of this development. When I started at UNC in 1981, I was the one driving the van on road trips. So much has changed since then, and the motivating force has been that we love what we do, and we have a passion for the game. The most rewarding thing is to see how that hard work has benefitted today’s student-athletes. ‘Dare to be brilliant’ is one of my favorite sayings – you can’t go through life and not take risks. You’ve got to dare to be brilliant, dare to take chances, and put yourself in a position where you can get better. You can’t be comfortable; you’ve got to be willing to be uncomfortable to grow. That’s what women’s athletics has been doing for many years now and as we celebrate 50 years of Title IX, we know the work isn’t over but it’s gratifying to take a minute and appreciate how far we’ve come. - Karen Shelton, North Carolina Field Hockey Head Coach

“I am a proud product of Title IX legislation. It has helped to produce an exponential growth of women participating in athletics and cultivated countless successes through the combination of sports and higher education. As a result, women have transformed the culture of sports forever. I have always believed that “sport mirrors the greater society.” Women have come a long way from delicate sport participation and benign academic goals to becoming strong leaders in every segment of society. Title IX created an important foundation of sports and academics that prepared a generation of women to become leaders in a myriad of roles and responsibilities. Through the leadership of these women, I am hopeful for a more just, inclusive and equitable society.” - Karen Dennis, Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, The Ohio State University

“The passage of Title IX determined my life’s journey. You would like to think that you don’t need a law to be fair, but the fact is that Title IX has reshaped the landscape of women’s sports, been instrumental in the growth of women’s basketball, and expanded educational and athletic opportunities for young women across the country. The 50th anniversary of Title IX is an important moment to look back at how far we’ve come and celebrate our progress, but also provides a chance to explore the continued challenges we face and acknowledge that we still have a very long way to go.” - Tara VanDerveer, Stanford Women’s Basketball Head Coach

About The ACC-Big Ten-Pac 12 Alliance
In August 2021, the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 Conferences formed an historic alliance that brought 41 world-class institutions together on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling. The alliance – which was unanimously supported by the presidents, chancellors, and athletics directors at all 41 institutions – is guided in all cases by a commitment to, and prioritization of, supporting student-athlete well-being, academic and athletic opportunities, experiences, and diverse educational programming. The three conferences are grounded in their support of broad-based athletic programs, the collegiate model, and opportunities for student-athletes as part of the educational missions of the institutions. The three conferences remain competitors in every sense but are committed to collaborating and providing thought leadership on various opportunities and challenges facing college athletics, including: student-athlete mental and physical health, safety, wellness, and support; strong academic experience and support; diversity, equity, and inclusion; social justice; gender equity; future structure of the NCAA; federal legislative efforts; postseason championships and future formats; and scheduling for football, women’s and men’s basketball, and Olympic sports. The Alliance includes:

  • World-leading academic institutions committed to the shared values of supporting the next generation of leaders.
  • Innovative research that benefits communities around the world.
  • 27 of the 34 Autonomy 5 members in Association of American Universities (AAU).
  • 34 institutions ranked in the Top 100 national universities by US News & World Report.
  • Broad-based athletic and academic programs.
  • A long heritage of leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Over 27,000 student-athletes competing on 863 teams in 31 sports.
  • A combined 1,019 NCAA Championships.
  • Longstanding relationships across bowl partnerships, men’s and women’s basketball challenges and Olympic Sport events.
  • 194 Olympic medals won in Tokyo by current, former, and future student-athletes.
  • Some of the most iconic and historic venues in college sports.
  • Hundreds of millions of dollars in direct annual institutional support of student-athlete scholarships.
  • Over $15 billion in annual federal research support, nearly one-third of the total across all colleges and universities.