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Gender equality expert will speak at two campus events

  • Donna Lopiano, former CEO of the Women's Sports Foundation, will speak at two events on campus on February 23.

Posted on February 11, 2013

Two women who have advanced sports and physical activity for women on campus will be honored at a university celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX legislation.

Joan Boand, professor emeritus of physical education, and Patti Rowe, professor of movement science, will be honored February 23 at the Celebration of Women in Sport and Physical Activity, held at 1 p.m. at the Alumni House. The campus community is invited; visit to RSVP.

The keynote speaker will be Donna Lopiano, former chief executive officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Lopiano will later give the keynote address at the Leadership Summit, held in the Kirkhof Center. Click here for more information about the summit.

Lopiano is an expert on gender equity in sports. She served as director of women’s athletics at the University of Texas-Austin and as past-president of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

In mid-January, she received the NCAA’s President Gerald R. Ford Award, which is presented to someone who has provided leadership as an advocate for college athletics.

Keri Becker, associate director of athletics, called Lopiano a “tireless advocate for women student-athletes” and said it’s appropriate she speaks at an event that honors Boand and Rowe.

“Thousands of women at Grand Valley have participated in club sports, athletics and majored in movement science because of work done by Joan and Patti,” Becker said. “Bringing a national speaker in to talk about gender equity ties this event together.”

The February 23 event will also officially launch an endowment fund in honor of Boand and Rowe that will help support professional development opportunities for students.

Becker chairs the endowment fund committee with Dana Munk, associate professor of movement science. Munk said today’s students are quite removed from the obstacles women faced before Title IX passed in 1972.

“Because participation opportunities for girls have increased dramatically over the past 40 years, remaining inequities often go unnoticed, such as discrepancies in salary, promotion rates, and the number of women in leadership positions,” Munk said. “This event serves as a reminder that there is still progress to be made and that our students need encouragement and support to keep moving forward.”

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