BOISE, Idaho – Boise State Athletics will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX as part of a 12-month series amplifying the stories of women’s athletics, director of athletics Jeramiah Dickey announced Thursday. The first story, featuring Connie Thorngren, who pioneered competitive sport for women at Boise State, will launch later this summer, beginning the campaign.
Fifty years ago today, the United States signed legislation creating a legal expectation for women and girls to enjoy equal opportunities in sports. To honor and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Boise State Athletics, formatted through monthly releases on its various platforms, will highlight the stories and accomplishments that played a part in advancing women’s athletics.
“This special anniversary is a remarkable milestone, and one we are incredibly proud to share as we continue to promote the importance of equality for women in college athletics,” Dickey said. “Highlighting recognize these exceptional stories will not only trailblazing achievements but also serve as a catalyst to begin our next 50 years of providing equitable opportunities.”
Boise State features one of the longest recognized women’s athletic departments in the Pacific Northwest pre-dating the passing of Title IX, starting with the 1970-71 school year when female student-athletes competed as non-scholarship athletes in six sports: basketball, field hockey, gymnastics, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
The dawn of Title IX also meant the decision to merge the men’s and women’s athletic departments at Boise State in the summer of 1976. The merger gave the women’s programs access to the school’s vital athletic revenue streams that would help support and improve the women’s programs.
“Title IX applies to all aspects of education and ensures that the same opportunities are available to every student, regardless of sex,” said Dr Marlene Tromp, President of Boise State. “Title IX is a profound assertion of our values as a country and our values as an institution. We have seen exceptional impacts in sport, as a result of Title IX. Significantly more girls and women have participated in organized sports throughout their lives in the wake of this legislation. Like academics, athletics has the power to develop people’s talents and lives. We are proud of the impact Title IX has had at Boise State.”
In the 50 years since the passing of Title IX, Boise State’s women’s sports have grown from six programs and no scholarships to 11 programs with the full complement of scholarships and provides opportunities for nearly 200 female student-athletes to compete athletically on an annual basis.
Boise State’s women’s athletic programs compete at the top level of collegiate sports where they have won a combined 54 conference championships and have made 60 NCAA postseason appearances. Additional information can be found at BroncoSports.com as part of the upcoming series.
July 2022 – Connie Thorngren – Women’s Athletic Director and Coach, Boise State 1970-83 – Inducted into the Boise State Hall of Fame in 1993.