Christian Education

TITLE IX AT 50: Chronology of women’s sport in Mizzou

Throughout 2022, Mizzou Athletics will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX – groundbreaking legislation that paved the way for more resources and participation for women in college athletics. Every day, our student-athletes harness the power of practice, preparation and competition to grow personally and professionally. They represent Mizzou and the entire State of Missouri on the national stage at the highest level of college athletics.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Athletics and College Athletics will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Patsy T. Mink Equal Educational Opportunity Act, better known as Title IX, next week on the 23rd June 2022.

While the past 50 years of women’s sports have been groundbreaking, women’s athletics in Mizzou dates back to 1897 when the first women’s intramural basketball games were played.

The first letters were awarded by the Mizzou Women’s Athletic Association in 1912 and many of the teams competing today for the Tigers were established as club sports by these pioneers.


Some historical information has been confirmed by Brendon Steenbergen’s book Mizzou Sports Through the Ages: An Illustrated Timeline of University of Missouri Athletics. It is available for purchase on Amazon.

1897 – The first intramural women’s basketball games are played in Mizzou.

1904 – Women’s basketball is growing in popularity, with each class having its own intramural team.

1912 – The Women’s Athletic Association was formed, and student-athletes in every class competed in basketball, field hockey, and tennis.

1915 – The first winning sweaters are awarded to women. The Mizzou WAA has over 200 women who participate in baseball, basketball, field hockey, gymnastics, tennis and track and field. A cup was awarded each year to the winning class.

1917 – Intercollegiate games are played against Christian College – now Columbia College, a crosstown rival. Volleyball is playing its first season.

1919 – Mizzou’s WAA continues to grow by adding additional rope climbing, target shooting and athletics programs. Mizzou Sports Through The Ages added, “New bleachers were added to the Missouri athletic field, which women’s teams regularly filled to capacity.”

1922 – A women’s gymnasium, later named McKee Gym, opens. The building is named after Mary McKee, head of women’s physical education at MU from 1923 to 1958.

1966 – Female golfer Barbara Berkmeyer was the first female student-athlete to receive an athletic scholarship at Mizzou.

1972 – Signing of the Patsy T. Mink Equal Educational Opportunity Act, better known as Title IX.

1974 – Women’s intercollegiate athletic teams began receiving University funding in 1974–75 and were initially administered by the campus physical education department. Basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball became intercollegiate sports.

1976 – The women’s intercollegiate athletic program was merged with the men’s program to form an intercollegiate athletics department.

1980 – Added gymnastics as an intercollegiate sport.

1996 – Football becomes a university sport.

Please consider donating $50 (or any amount you choose) to the Tiger Scholarship Fund’s Women’s Sports Celebration Fund in honor of the achievements of our female student-athletes and positioning Mizzou for even greater success in the sport. women’s athletics in the years to come. Your donation takes less than five minutes to make and will have a direct impact on the academic and athletic experience of current and future Mizzou student-athletes.

Please visit the Celebration of Women’s Sports Fund webpage or click the button below to donate now.

Follow Mizzou Athletics throughout the year as we celebrate 50 student-athletes, coaches and friends of women’s sports at Mizzou in honor of Title IX’s 50th anniversary.