Fifty years after the monumental Title IX opened countless doors for women in sport, the Bruins are honoring her legacy.
UCLA Athletics announced on Monday the start of “Women of Westwood,” a campaign to further support women’s sport on campus. The series of celebrations, financial plans and more will come into effect in 2022, 50 years after the law was passed.
According to a UCLA statement, here are the top four areas in which new financial support will be added to the 13 women’s teams on campus and the athletic department as a whole:
- The creation of a new Women of Westwood Endowment Fund that, in perpetuity, will support operational spending and improvements in the 14 women’s sports offered at UCLA. This endowment will provide UCLA’s Intercollegiate Athletics Department with a perpetual source of income that will provide the resources necessary to attract, develop and retain the most talented student-athletes and coaches in the country.
- An emphasis on funding scholarships for student-athletes by creating additional scholarship endowments. Attracting talented student-athletes to UCLA is essential to creating and sustaining a world-class women’s athletics program, and nothing is more essential to attracting the best student-athletes than access to financial aid.
- An effort to staff female coaching positions at UCLA. Coaches spend more time with UCLA student-athletes than any other member of the UCLA family, providing invaluable lessons in becoming champions in the classroom, in competition, and in the community. Coaching Endowments complement sport-specific budgets and provide much-needed and much-needed support to the coaches who lead our student-athletes.
- Extensive support from all alumni, fans and friends of UCLA Athletics to support the student-athletes and the 14 women’s programs with donations of any amount made directly to a women’s sport at UCLA. Gifts to any of UCLA’s women’s programs will provide sport-specific operational support at the discretion of the Head Coach.
The 1972-1973 academic year was the first under Title IX, and the educational and sports resources that are part of “Women of Westwood” will be introduced throughout the year 2022-2023. Title IX outlawed discrimination based on sex in any school or other educational program that received federal funding, and athletic departments began offering scholarships to female athletes soon after.
The first woman to receive a four-year athletic scholarship was Ann Meyers Drysdale, who played for UCLA women’s basketball and also competed for the volleyball and track teams in the mid-1970s. Meyers Drysdale is on the leading group for the “Women of Westwood”, as is former UCLA gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field.
“As someone who has worked with hundreds of amazing women in my 37-year career at UCLA, I couldn’t be more proud to support Women of Westwood,” Kondos Field said in a statement. “This celebration is a chance to commemorate the wonderful successes of our women’s athletic programs, while the fundraising initiative is an opportunity to build on these successes of the past 50 years and allow our student-athletes to represent UCLA as a difference maker in our community for years to come. “
UCLA’s women’s teams have contributed 56 national championships, 108 conference titles, more than 1,000 All-Americans and hundreds of Olympians to Westwood’s sporting tradition.
Fundraising for the event will begin on June 23, 50 years to the day after the passage of Title IX.
“The women of Westwood once again demonstrate UCLA’s commitment to supporting and empowering student-athletes to achieve their goals,” said athletic director Martin Jarmond. “From our legendary alumni to our current student-athletes; when women are supported, everyone benefits.”
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