The School of Kinesiology and Recreation will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the adoption of Title IX with an April 21-22 conference.

Chris Voelz

Title IX—established in 1972—is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in all federally funded education programs and activities, removing major barriers for women in both education and sports.

Illinois State University welcomes back physical education alum, Chris Voelz ’70, as the conference’s keynote speaker. Voelz is a former Redbird four-sport athlete and a member of Illinois State University Athletics’ Percy Family Hall of Fame ‘82. As an undergraduate student, she served on the Student Advisory Council, advocating to administration on the behalf of female athletes.

Her advocacy for female athletes continued throughout her professional career. Voelz coached volleyball at the University of Oregon from 1978-1982 before taking on the role of women’s athletic director at the University of Minnesota until 2002. She went on to serve as the lead gifts officer for Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation before taking over as the executive director of the Collegiate Women in Sports Award in 2012. Her passion for empowering and celebrating women makes her an inspiration for many. 

The conference will also feature student-only sessions on Friday, April 22, including a fireside chat with Illinois State University legends Jill Hutchinson and Linda Herman moderated by Sport Management Student Kendee Hilliard. Other session topics include Title IX Today: Prevention and Reporting, Male Allyship in Sport and Recreation, Breaking Barriers: Young Women in Sport, and Girls in Sport: What’s Next?

As we take this time to celebrate the passing of Title IX, we recognize it is both a feat to celebrate and a time to reflect on remaining issues and commit to advocating for change. There is still work to be done. Join us in paving the path for the next 50 years.

Conference Details

Thursday, April 21 (7-8 p.m.)

Welcome + Keynote (Hancock Stadium Club Room) *Open to the public

Friday, April 22 (8 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Student Conference (State Farm Hall of Business & McCormick Hall) *Students-only

There is no cost to attend this event, but preregistration is required. Please register here: