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40 Years

Jul 22, 2013, 8:47 AM EST

This past academic year marked an important milestone in the world of athletics, both at Notre Dame and across the country. The passing of the legislation known as Title IX coincided with the admittance of women to Notre Dame. On campus and off, the University honored these two milestones in many ways.

Just this past week, Notre Dame Women Connect (NDWC), a new affinity group within the Alumni Association, celebrated 40 years of coeducation at Notre Dame at the New York Athletic Club in New York City. This was one of many regional celebrations held by NDWC across the country. Because not all women can travel to campus, the party traveled to the women.

I had the privilege of attending two of these regional celebrations: Detroit and Washington, D.C. Detroit held the very first regional event to honor this milestone. As a pioneer city of NDWC, Detroit led the effort and set the tone for future regional coeducation celebrations. And while I appreciate every opportunity to speak to a group of ND women, this one was especially meaningful as there were several former ND swimmers in attendance. One of my favorite benefits of traveling the country is meeting “teammates across the decades,” even if we never competed at the same time. There is a special bond among Notre Dame athletes, particularly from your sport, no matter when you played, swam, competed, ran, etc…

I also had the distinct honor this past year to attend one of the many events held on campus to honor coeducation and the passing of Title IX. It was an honor, because I got to meet Father Ted. Not only did I get to meet him, I escorted him to half court of a women’s basketball game to be recognized by the crowd for his instrumental role in admitting women to Notre Dame. Prior to the basketball game, the Monogram Club hosted an event to honor 40 years of women’s athletics at Notre Dame. Gathered in Club Naimoli, this was a true celebration of women’s athletics: women from across the decades and sports, at a women’s basketball game, watched (many with teary eyes) a video to celebrate Title IX, with Fr. Ted escorted by myself (a swimmer) and former women’s soccer player and former Monogram Club board member, Jill Matesic. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out below.

Women’s sports at Notre Dame have come a long way in 40 years, and I couldn’t be more proud to represent these athletes on and off campus.

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