Title IX was signed into law 50 years ago. What impacts has the law had and what has it meant for Southeast students?

At Southeast Missouri State, it means we have been recognizing, celebrating, and honoring our female athletes and their accomplishments for half of a century. SEMO’s campus would not be the same without our women’s sports and the athletes who continue to make an impact on and off the field, court, track, or gym. Records have been broken, history has been made, and lives have been changed. As Title IX continues to impact generations, we look at a group of alumnae who have inspired countless women and girls who came after them.

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, we are grateful for those who paved the way for the opportunities we as women have today. It is because of them that we can and we will, not only for ourselves, but for the women who came before and for the little girls who dream to walk in our footsteps.

Rekha Patterson, Women's Basketball Head Coach

Former Southeast Missouri head volleyball coach and administrator

"As someone who became active in Athletics early in the Title IX movement, I am amazed at the significant strides women's athletics has made in a relatively short period of time. There are so many women who have dedicated their time and talent to accomplish significant milestones for women and girls sports. We certainly are not done with what can be achieved. We have to fight for the integrity of women's athletics in assuring an equal playing field and continue to make those opportunities available at all levels for girls and women. I hope in some way, I made a difference and will always admire those who came before me and will continue to support those who follow. Girls and women’s sports have empowered many women and will continue to develop future leaders for many years to come. "

Cindy Gannon

Title IX allows me and my student athletes the ability to do the things we love. Not just in the sport of gymnastics, but also affording us the ability to expand our knowledge and get a great education. It provides us with the freedom to make choices in life and have the freedom to participate in programs many women before us weren't so fortunate to do. I'm grateful for Title IX and the opportunities it's awarded myself, my athletes and for the younger generations to come.

Ashley Lawson, Women's Gymnastics Head Coach

Men’s Track and Field started at SEMO in 1912-13, but Women’s Track and Field did not start until 1978-79--a whopping 66 years later. Title IX has given extraordinary athletes and people an opportunity to compete in collegiate athletics. Since Women’s Track and Cross Country started, SEMO has won a combined 47 MIAA and OVC Championships. An exceptional winning tradition that would not be possible without Title IX and the opportunities it has given our women’s student athletes.

Ryan Lane, Cross Country Head Coach

Our program is so grateful for the opportunities that Title IX has provided female student-athletes. Not only do we get to play the sport we love, but we get to develop as citizens, contribute as members of the community, and make lifelong friendships.

Mary Beth Gunn, Women's Tennis Head Coach

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