The University of Illinois is kicking off a program to honor female athletes who competed for the school prior to 1974. The UI athletic department is seeking to locate as many of these former student-athletes as possible.
Oct. 29, 2002
The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics is proud to announce the Illinois 3D - Dreams, Desire, and Dedication program to "commemorate visionaries in women's athletics."
Under the leadership of Dr. Karol Kahrs, the University of Illinois officially began varsity athletics for women during the 1974-75 academic year. But women competed intercollegiately on behalf of Illinois for years prior.
As part of the Illinois 3D program, each athlete who participated in the women's sports that are currently sponsored by the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics will be presented with a varsity letter at a special function in November 2003 around a major Illini athletic event. Those sports are basketball, cross-country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.
"These women played a major role in laying the foundation for our current varsity women's programs," said Athletic Director Ron Guenther. "They are 'unsung players' who deserve to receive the same recognition as those athletes who had the opportunity to earn a varsity letter while they attended Illinois."
Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women's Administrator Kelly Landry added, "These women are an important part of the Fighting Illini family. This will be a celebration of women's athletics as we honor those pioneers who set the stage for the competitive teams we enjoy today."
The planning committee will spend the next year locating as many of these athletes as possible. Those who either competed or know someone who competed in Illinois women's sports prior to the 1974-75 academic year can officially sign-in for the program on www.fightingillini.com or by calling Coordinator of Special Projects Tom Porter at (217) 244-2771 or through e-mail at Illinois3D@fightingillini.com.