Before Title IX was enacted by Congress in June 1972, female student-athletes and coaches at UNC had already begun blazing a trail for the student-athletes and coaches who were to follow them. A group of female coaches and student-athletes — determined to advance women’s athletic teams at UNC — made change happen and opened doors for women’s athletics with limited resources and in the face of systemic resistance.
It’s been 50 years since Title IX’s passage, and a group of these women — fittingly called “The Trailblazers” — have never stopped working to support UNC’s female student-athletes, including establishing and contributing to scholarships. And, while Title IX has helped create opportunities for women in intercollegiate athletics, important work toward equity continues.
With gratitude for our trailblazing female coaches and student-athletes, UNC is participating in the NCAA’s national yearlong celebration of Title IX’s 50th anniversary. UNC alumni and student-athletes have come together to honor the women who ran, swam, played, led and coached their way to success at UNC — and to celebrate and support the student-athletes who have come after them, reaching for their educational and athletic goals.
This past fall, as part of that celebration, UNC welcomed Trailblazer alumni back for lunch and panelists shared their experiences with UNC’s current female student-athletes.
“The people, the opportunity to play softball at a collegiate level, and getting my education at the same time while playing the sport I love made my decision to come to UNC so easy. How could I not choose UNC? Receiving the Linda S. French Trailblazer Scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies and further my education. I will make the most of it!” Jaycie Gandert Sophomore, Dietetics; Shortstop, UNC Softball
And, on April 15, the community will come together once again — this time for the 15th annual Women’s Walk. Through the years, generous donors have raised close to $500,000 in support of UNC’s female student-athletes. This year’s event will honor the 50th anniversary of Title IX while raising funds to support UNC’s female student-athletes. Doors will open at 8 a.m. inside Bank of Colorado Arena, with the walk starting at 9 a.m. followed by a volleyball scrimmage and softball game. To register online for the Women’s Walk, go to: unco.edu/blue-gold-club/womens-walk.aspx.
15th Annual Women's Walk
Saturday, April 15, 2023
Bank of Colorado Arena
8:00 A.M. Registration and Breakfast
9:00 A.M. Opening Announcements and Campus Walk Begins
10:00 A.M. Closing Program followed by UNC Volleyball vs. Regis
Gloria Rodriguez Field
12:00 P.M. UNC Softball vs. Montana