The entire gym floor was filled with athletes who contributed to the diversity and prestige of Ohio Wesleyan. Women of all ages gathered to recognize the female athlete’s impact in all sports, especially prior to Title IX.
Marge Redmond, Ohio Wesleyan field hockey coach, organized the event, which took place at halftime of the Ohio Wesleyan women’s basketball game against Wittenberg on February 18.
Current female athletes flooded the stands to congratulate these women and to learn more about their stories. The alumnae athletes “were grateful, and felt special that finally someone appreciated their contributions. It was a very meaningful gesture to them,” says Redmond.
As the women were given their athletic letters, red and black W’s, a song from A League of Their Own played in the background: “Live and learn / Well the years they flew / And we never knew / We were foolish then / We would never tire / And that little fire / Is still alive in me / It will never go away / Can’t say goodbye to yesterday.”
All of the women were adorned with smiles on their faces. As one former athlete received her letter she yelled, “I’m sleeping with this tonight!”
After the halftime celebration, the stands quickly emptied so that the current athletes could have a chance to meet with the women who were being celebrated. The current students were able to hear the alumnae stories about the struggles they had to go through in order to be an athlete before the passing of Title IX. Many athletes were shocked at how different it was before 1972, which was not that long ago.
Athletic Director Roger Ingles, father of an OWU athlete alumna, stated, “I feel great about these women being recognized for their contributions to Ohio Wesleyan University and the athletic department. They are true trailblazers for women in sport.”