COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State University kicked off a year of events to celebrate 50 years of Title IX with a panel discussion featuring President Kristina M. Johnson, and members of the university's female athletic community.
On June 23, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX into law. The one-sentence law forbids discrimination based on sex in education.
Kristina M. Johnson, President of Ohio State, was a Stanford field hockey player who also helped launch the Stanford lacrosse program.
"I actually run into friends and colleagues who have kids on the Stanford Lacrosse team that went there on a scholarship. That would not have happened but for us starting the program, being diligent and making that happen. We have a thousand athletes here, men and women. They all get a shot, scholarship athletes and opportunities, so that's what it's about," she told 10TV.
Siobhan St. John, Ohio State assistant cheer coach, moderated the panel with the following guests:
- Veronica Meinhard, an All-American swimmer while at the University of Florida
Jacy Sheldon, a current Ohio State basketball star
Holly Vargo Brown, a national champion synchronized swimming coach
Miechelle Willis, a retired Ohio State deputy athletic director, a standout in track and field while a student at Grambling University.
A Columbus mother and daughter also celebrated the strides made for women in sports that were made possible by Title IX.
Celia Anderson works with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission. She's a former basketball player for the Arkansas Razorbacks. She also played in the NCAA Women’s Final Four. Her daughter, Gabrielle Anderson, went to IMG Academy—the world-renowned boarding school for athletes in Florida—and committed to Harvard to play basketball this fall.
"I often times tell Gabby that my ceiling is her floor, and so I was able to go really high and to elevate in the game of basketball because of Title IX, and now Gabrielle has a chance to keep continuing to build on that platform," Celia said.
I do believe Title IX has given us the platform to be able to rise up to the men's level but kind of in our own field," said Gabby. "We are not the men, and we will never be them, but we have created our own kind of base."