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Leader in women’s athletics mourned

Laurie Mabry

Former Illinois State Director of Athletics for women Laurie Mabry was recognized in January 2012 during a Redbird women’s basketball game against Creighton.

Former Director of Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics Laurie Mabry passed away last October at the age of 86. She built ISU’s women’s sports into a major national program as director from 1960-1982.

A physical education professor, she coached golf and women’s basketball before retiring in 1985. She was inducted into three halls of fame, including ISU’s Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame. A banner hangs in Redbird Arena in her honor.

Mabry served from 1975-1976 as president of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, the national governing body for college women’s athletics. Mabry played a key role in authoring and sponsoring the Title IX regulations for equality in women’s sports, which were enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Gerald Ford.

“Laurie was a big part of Illinois State Athletics and was particularly instrumental in progressing the cause of women’s athletics,” Director of Athletics Larry Lyons said. “She was a strong advocate nationally. One of the reasons Illinois State has had such a strong presence in women’s athletics is because of the foundation Laurie set here.”

Mabry moved to Vandalia in 1991, where she loved playing golf. She also enjoyed playing cards in various bridge and poker groups.

Donations in her memory can be made to the Weisbecker Scholarship Fund at WeisbeckerFund.com.

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