Events held at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the historic legislation which opened the doors for women’s athletics at universities across the United States, have raised $700,000 to support Rainbow Wahine athletics programs.
The “Wahine on the Rise—The Celebration” event on October 14, at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center raised about $450,000 as some 300 guests enjoyed a three-course meal prepared by three top local female chefs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX and women’s sports at UH.
An earlier event—“Wahine on the Rise—Day of Giving”—raised $253,613 from 596 donors. The event, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of women’s athletics as well, was held on September 1, fittingly the date of the home opener for the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team—one of the first women’s intercollegiate teams at UH. A third event on September 10 marked the Title IX anniversary with a free public field day of interactive activities with Rainbow Wahine teams at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.
“The support of the donors and volunteers for ‘Wahine on the Rise’ has been incredible,” said Nancy Wo, chair of the volunteer Wahine on the Rise committee for UH Athletics. “The strength shown by our donors is mirrored in the amazing strength our women athletes show each day on the court, on the field and in the water.”
“The committee that Nancy assembled did incredible work to launch support from these donors,” said Lois Manin, UH associate athletics director and head of operations. “It was very important to the committee to provide opportunities for community involvement and support young girls and women in their journeys. Forming connections with the community and our women’s student-athletes and coaches is important to the sustainability of the program.”
Hundreds of women student-athletes
UH Mānoa has about 550 student-athletes who compete in 13 sports. In addition to volleyball, approximately 250 women student-athletes at UH Mānoa compete in basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, golf, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field and water polo.
Title IX’s Hawaiʻi roots
Former Hawaiʻi Congresswoman Patsy Mink co-authored the landmark Title IX of the U.S. Educational Amendments of 1972 legislation. After her death in 2002, Congress renamed Title IX the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, and in 2014, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
UH Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law is also honoring Patsy Mink with the creation of the Patsy Takemoto Mink Endowed Chair for Law and Social Justice, a tribute to Mink’s fight for gender equality and a guarantee that social justice programs will continue at the law school, training generations of lawyers to fight against all discrimination as Mink did.