1913: Gardner-Webb boarding high school, know as Boiling Springs High, fielded its first women’s tennis team.
1920: U.S. women gain the right to vote.
1920: In the 1920s, programs at Boiling Springs High also appeared for soccer, softball and volleyball.
1947: The first Truman Commission report pushes for more equal access to higher education, including ending race and religious discrimination.
1954: U.S. Supreme Court rules “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” in landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision.
1956: Gardner-Webb Junior College briefly fielded women’s basketball from 1956-1959.
1963: The Commission on the Status of Women, headed by Eleanor Roosevelt, finds widespread discrimination against women in the U.S. and urges federal courts that “the principle of equality become firmly established in constitutional doctrine.” Congress passes the Equal Pay Act.
1964: The Civil Rights Act includes sex as one of the things that employers can’t discriminate against. It also establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Patsy Mink of Hawaii becomes the first woman of color elected to the U.S. House; she later co-authors Title IX, the Early Childhood Education Act and the Women’s Educational Equality Act.
1965: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act gives federal funding to K-12 schools with low-income student populations. President Lyndon Johnson also signs the Higher Education Act of 1965 that gives college students access to loans, grants and other programs.
1966: The National Organization for Women is established, calling for women to have “full participation in the mainstream of American society… in truly equal partnership with men.”
1971: The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) founded to govern collegiate women’s athletics and administer national championships.
1972: Congress passes Title IX, which is signed into law by President Richard Nixon. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Congress also passes the Equal Rights Amendment, but it never gets approval from the 38 states needed to become law.
1973: The Supreme Court issues its Roe v. Wade opinion establishing the right to an abortion. Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in straight sets in the “The Battle of the Sexes” tennis exhibition match.
1974: The Women’s Educational Equity Act provides grants and contracts to help with “nonsexist curricula,” as well as to help institutions meet Title IX requirements.
1975: President Gerald Ford signs Title IX athletics regulations, which gives athletic departments up to three years to implement, after noting “it was the intent of Congress under any reason of interpretation to include athletics.”
1975: Gardner-Webb Women’s basketball plays its first senior college game.
1976: NCAA challenges the legality of Title IX regarding athletics in a lawsuit that is dismissed two years later.
1978: Gardner-Webb Volleyball added as a varsity sport.
1979: U.S. officials put into effect the important three-prong test for Title IX compliance when it comes to athletics.
1980: Title IX oversight is given to the Office of Civil Rights in the Education Department.
1980: Gardner-Webb Women’s tennis added as a varsity sport.
1984: Gardner-Webb cross country added as a varsity sport.
1984: Gardner-Webb Softball added as a varsity sport.
1988: Congress overrides President Ronald Reagan’s veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, making it mandatory that Title IX apply to any school that receives federal money.
1990: Gardner-Webb Women’s soccer added as a varsity sport.
1991: Dina Smith McClure (Basketball) becomes first female student-athlete inducted into the Gardner-Webb Athletics Hall of Fame.
1994: The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act is passed. Under Title IX, schools with federal financial aid programs and athletics must provide annual information regarding gender equity, including roster sizes and certain budgets.
1996: Gardner-Webb Women’s basketball advances to NCAA Division II National Tournament.
1997: Gardner-Webb Softball wins South Atlantic Conference Tournament title.
1997: Gardner-Webb Volleyball wins South Atlantic Conference Regular Season and Tournament titles.
1998: Gardner-Webb Women’s golf added as a varsity sport.
1999: Gardner-Webb Women’s tennis advances to NCAA Division II Regional Tournament.
1999: Gardner-Webb Volleyball wins South Atlantic Conference Regular Season and Tournament titles for the second time in three seasons.
1999: Gardner-Webb Women’s Track & Field added as a varsity sport, finishes 4th nationally indoors and 5th nationally outdoors in first Division II season.
1999: Gardner-Webb Swimming added as a varsity sport, finishes 14th nationally in first Division II season.
2000: Gardner-Webb Women’s tennis advances to NCAA Division II Regional Tournament for the second season in a row.
2000: Gardner-Webb’s Sylivia Chelimo, Nicole McLain and Julia O’Neal combine to win five individual Division II national titles in Track & Field.
2000: Gardner-Webb’s Melissa Smith swims to NCAA Division II individual national title.
2000: Gardner-Webb Women’s swimming wins the first of four-straight Northeast Conference championships.
2005: Gardner-Webb Women’s soccer star Leeanna Woodworth leads NCAA Division I in scoring.
2007: Terra Wilson swims to Gardner-Webb’s first NCAA Division I All-America honor.
2010: Gardner-Webb Women’s basketball wins the Big South Conference regular season championship.
2011: Gardner-Webb Women’s basketball wins Big South Conference Tournament, earns automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Championship.
2015: Gardner-Webb Women’s lacrosse added as a varsity sport.
2016: Citing Title IX, the Obama administration says transgender students at public schools must be allowed to use the bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity. Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman to win a major party nomination for president.
2020: New Title IX amendments take effect, largely regarding sexual harassment.
2021: Report rips NCAA for failing to uphold its commitment to gender equity by prioritizing its lucrative Division I men’s basketball tournament “over everything else,” including women’s championship events.
For more on Title IX’s impact throughout the United States, read AP’s full report: https://apnews.com/hub/title-ix Video timeline: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdgNI6BZpw0