Stanford inducts first all-female HOF class in school history as Title IX marks milestone

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Saturday, September 10, 2022
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Stanford University inducts its first all-female Hall of Fame class in school history as Title IX marks its 50-year milestone

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Breaking records, breaking ground, and breaking glass ceilings. It is the success that was recognized and celebrated at Stanford University's historic, first all-female Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday.

The event brought even more significance, as the 10-member class accepted the honor during a milestone year, which marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX.

The landmark civil rights law is one that legendary women's basketball coach Tara VanDerveer didn't have the benefit of.

"So, I never played on a team. I never went to basketball camp. There weren't scholarships for women. There weren't professional women," VanDerveer told ABC7 News, "And now, you look at someone like Nneka Ogwumike who played on scholarship, got a great education at Stanford, played professionally. Things have changed so much."

VanDerveer was inducted for her legendary coaching career, which enters the 37th season in 2022-2023.

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WNBA superstar Nneka Ogwumike also added Stanford Hall of Famer to her long list of career highlights on and off the court. Ogwumike said Title IX has paved the way forward for her and other women athletes, including her younger sisters.

Title IX is a law widely known for protecting students from gender-based discrimination in a number of areas. It also puts focus on giving girls and young women competitive opportunities that were rarely afforded to them in the past.

"Me standing here talking to you today is a reflection of that," Ogwumike said in a speech. " I know there's a lot of probably unsung heroes that never had their chance at being recognized in any way. So, we can't forget about those that came before us and gave us this opportunity. And to be able to be celebrated in a class full of women, to commemorate 50 years of that, it's really magical."

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"And also it just shows us how far we've come," she continued.

Ten years after Ogwumike's final season in Cardinal red, she's sharing this message for aspiring athletes: "There's no box that's big enough to contain you, and remembering that is really what's going to get you to where you wanna go."

She added, "And surrounding yourself with people who know that is also the foundation of success."

Olympic medalist soccer player, Christen Press, said momentum is shifting and so much is because of the work of the women who came before. Now the goal is opening more doors for the next generation of athletes.

"This class and so many others will continue to fight that fight, and make it a more inclusive -- make sport more inclusive and diverse and equitable," she said. "I've played abroad and have seen women's soccer in cultures where they don't have something like Title IX and I've seen the affects."

VIDEO: Title IX: Explaining the landmark civil rights law that codified gender equity in sports and beyond

On full display on Friday, hometown heroes were making history.

"Sometimes I have to pinch myself," VanDerveer said. "How exciting it is and just how special it is."

Other inductees included former student-athletes: Lisa Bernhagen Ramos (women's track and field), Elaine Breeden Penrose (women's swimming and diving), Margie Dingeldein (women's water polo), Ashley Hansen Church (softball), Carly Janiga Reardon (women's gymnastics) and Sally Voss Krueger (women's golf). Longtime volunteer Linda R. Meier also received special recognition for her service to the department.

The induction ceremony wrapped up Friday night. The first all-female Hall of Fame class is going to be publicly introduced on Saturday, when Stanford takes on USC.

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live