A four-sport athlete at Illinois State, physical education major Chris Voelz ’70 serves as the executive director of the Collegiate Women in Sports Award. A distinguished alum, her work as a coach, administrator, leader, and advocate has helped open the doors for generations of female athletes.

As an undergrad, Voelz served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Board and knocked on the doors of administrators to advocate for women athletes on campus. She coached volleyball at the University of Oregon from 1978 until 1988, when she left to take on a larger role as the women’s athletic director at the University of Minnesota until 2002.

Voelz was inducted into the Illinois State Athletics Percy Family Hall of Fame in 1982. She co-authored the current NCAA guidelines on gender equity, and Fitness Magazine has recognized her as one of the top-10 influential people in women’s sports.