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50 Years of Title IX

On June 23, 2022, we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the impact of women in sport as a result of the legislation!

Lucy Oliver (Van Dalen) ’12 | Women’s Cross Country/Women’s Track & Field, Hall of Fame Class of 2017
“Being given the opportunity to be a student-athlete not only empowered me as a woman but was the catalyst for personal growth in confidence, strength, and determination. I’m so grateful for Title IX and how it has helped shaped the course of my life and contributed to the achievement of my goals and dreams.”

Anastasia Nikas DeBonis ’93 | Volleyball, Hall of Fame Class of 1999
“Title IX allowed me to live my dream and opened doors I didn’t even dream of entering. Now it’s my daughter’s turn to play volleyball in a gender equitable university and surpass my accomplishments.”


Hailey Zeise ’20, ’21 | Women’s Basketball
“It was an absolute pleasure to have played alongside so many amazing, talented women over the years. I have nothing but gratitude for the women who have paved the way in the last 50 years, and those who continue to drive women’s sports upward. Let this be an opportunity to celebrate all the strength and resilience it took to get here and continue to inspire the next generation of women in sports!”


Kathy Koshanski | Former Head Athletic Trainer, Hall of Fame Class of 2020
“This was ground-breaking legislation to open the doors of opportunity for girls and women in sports. So many paved the way so that we are able to enjoy all that we do today. I hope all generations appreciate the growth and spirit of Title IX .”


Teresa “Teri” Tiso | Former Head Volleyball Coach (1981-2000), Hall of Fame Class of 2005
“I was a sophomore at Cortland State in 1972 when Title IX became law. Our student government representatives met, discussed the inequities in the female vs. male athletic budgets, and voted to add monetary support for women’s sports. It did not make a huge difference, but it was a forward step. I competed in volleyball and track, we won the first ever NY State Championship (this was before scholarships for women, so there were no divisions), and qualified in the 800 meters and relay for a National AIAW Championship.This was the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, NCAA did not hold any championships for women.However, we were not supported and therefore did not compete in the AIAW National Championships.

My first teaching and coaching position was at Herkimer County Community College in upstate NY where our teams won many Regional NJCAA championships in field hockey, basketball, track and field, volleyball, and softball due to the outstanding leadership of my mentor, Jeanne Galvin. I then moved to Stony Brook University in 1981 where I taught and coached volleyball until I retired as associate professor in Women’s Gender Sexuality Studies in 2019. It took a long time for women’s athletics to be perceived as “college athletics” and not a lesser entity We have come a long way, but are still fighting for these resources, recognition, and reinforcement of the Title IX equity principles.

From fighting for gym space and the okay to order practice and match uniforms for each team, my participation in the first ever Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials in 1984, to coaching Stony Brook to the 1992 Volleyball Division III National Championships where Stasia Nikas-DeBonis’ earned Co-National Volleyball Player of the Year, to winning Division II ECAC Championships and 20 matches in our first Division I year in 1999, I continue my passionate and unrelenting love for athletics and competition for all.”


Denise Logan-Heuser ’77 | Women’s Diving/Crew, Hall of Fame Class of 1998
“As a woman who participated in sport during the rise of Title IX, I am grateful to the pioneers who worked tirelessly to pass this federal law. Because of them, my daughter earned the opportunity to compete at the very same institution that afforded me so many opportunities. As a student-athlete that was only able to swim on the men’s team, I have seen how Stony Brook broke barriers to provide women the same opportunities as men.”


Behind Sarris ’83 | Women’s Basketball, Hall of Fame Class of 1996
I attended Stony Brook from 1979-1983. While fewer than 30,000 college women in the US participated in sports in 1981, over 200,000 participated in 2017. I would never have gained the discipline, courage, friendships, career success, and wisdom I’ve experienced throughout my life had it not been for the passing of Title IX and the opportunities it afforded me. Title IX provided the pathway for college women like myself to develop boundless courage, strength, and camaraderie, and to grow and challenge themselves beyond comprehension!”


Alyssa Breres (Struzenberg) ’10 | Softball, Hall of Fame Class of 2017
“Being able to play softball at the collegiate level not only changed my college trajectory, but also my entire life. At the time I was in college, I had been able to watch female athletes compete for years in the Women’s College World Series and I aspired to be those girls one day! Actually participating and playing at the Division I level, we became those role models to other little girls, which was truly a humbling experience.

Transitioning into a professional environment, I was able to use my experience as a student-athlete and apply it to my career – whether as someone who played softball or just an athlete in general. I owe most of my success in my life to being an athlete and having the opportunity to play ball at a collegiate level, none of which would have been available without Title IX.”


Marisa Viola ’10 | Women’s Soccer, Hall of Fame Class of 2010
“The opportunity that Title IX has given me, but more importantly those before me, is something I look forward to telling my kids one day. Being the first in my family to have this ability to pursue my dream in Division I athletics is not something I take lightly. Title IX is ‘less than half my lifetime’ old. That’s young! We still have so much work to do, but need EVERYONE’s help, not just women. Grateful for this milestone, but looking forward to the next 50 and how it is going to shape the landscape of the future.”


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