LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan spoke to a packed-house audience at Lock Haven University about the impact of Title IX and the success of women’s sports. Brennan was the keynote speaker at a dinner on Saturday night at the Durrwachter Conference Alumni Center. Among the audience members were present and past LHU coaches and players, including all current LHU women student-athletes.Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The event was the official kick-off for a five-year campaign to raise $500,000 for scholarships for women scholar athletes at LHU. The campaign is both a friend-raising and fund-raising initiative in support of LHU women’s athletics. Prior to the dinner, individuals who pledged $1,000 annually for five years received an autographed copy of Brennan’s "Best Seat in the House: A Father, a Daughter, a Journey through Sports," and to have their book personalized by the author.
During the dinner, guests watched a presentation of over 250 slides showing the history of LHU women’s athletics, with pictures of players, coaches, teams and supporters throughout the program’s history. Among the slides was a photo of LHU women athletes in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House holding signs supporting Title IX. Title IX is the landmark legislation, signed into law in 1972 by Richard Nixon, which ensures equal athletics opportunities for women and men.
Brennan described her early interest in sports, and said, “I was a weirdo, really strange, growing up in Toledo, Ohio and playing sports.” Now, however, as a result of Title IX, said Brennan, girls like her are able to learn at an early age the lessons sports can teach, including teamwork, sportsmanship, and winning and losing. The success of women’s sports, she added, can be seen in the number of participants and in the growing audiences for women’s sports. Brennan told the women student athletes, “You have been given a great gift—the opportunity to play sports when the idea of women playing sports is being embraced.”
In addition to being an award-winning sports columnist for USA today, Brennan is a commentator on ABC News, ESPN, NPR and Fox Sports Radio. She is the author of seven books and in 1995 was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame.