Exhibition exploring the history of women's athletics at KU to open Feb. 7 in Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

On February 7, the University of Kansas Libraries will unveil a new exhibition in Kenneth Spencer Research Library. “Women’s Athletics at KU: From physical education to recognized athletic program” explores the ongoing legacy of women’s athletics from the 1890s to today.

“This exhibit highlights an important aspect of women's experiences at KU and allows us to showcase yet one more angle on the diverse experiences and multiple talents of Jayhawks that enrich our past and our present,” said Kevin L. Smith, dean of libraries.

From softball to gymnastics, field hockey to golf, this sports-themed exhibition details the successes and challenges over 125 years. The exhibit will highlight famous coaches and players, such as Marion Washington, Ruth Hoover and Marlene Mawson, who all contributed to the success of the women’s athletic program at KU.

“I think it’s important for people to know that women were competing at an intercollegiate level prior to the passage of Title IX in 1972,” said Letha Johnson, assistant archivist for University Archives. “This exhibit highlights the notable fact that women at KU began competing against other colleges and universities in the 1920s.”

The opening reception will be held in the foyer of Spencer Research Library on Wednesday, February 7. A reception and viewing of the exhibition will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by remarks from Letha Johnson at 6:15 p.m. This event is free and open to the public; those who plan to attend should RSVP to Jennifer Muse by February 2 at 785-864-8961 or libevents@ku.edu.

The exhibition in Spencer Research Library will be open to the public through April 2018. 

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