Fairfield University honors Women's History Month celebrating "Women and Sport"

Fairfield University honors Women's History Month celebrating "Women and Sport"

Image: Donna Lopiano Fairfield University's Women's Studies program will host Dr. Donna Lopiano, executive director of the Women's Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King, on Wednesday, March 30, in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University. Dr. Lopiano's lecture, "Women and Sport: Lessons from the Past, Hopes for the Future," highlights a series of free events honoring Women and Sport, to take place during the last week in March.

"She is someone who had a lot of athletic success in a period of time in which there were many barriers for women in the sports arena," said Rose Rodrigues, Ph.D., director of the Women's Studies Program and assistant professor of sociology and anthropology. "I think she was able to still have a stellar career in sports and after that career, I think what is most striking and impressive about her, is that she really has devoted her life to bringing about change for women. She understands the importance of sport in the culture, but she clearly also understands the sports cultures and what that means for girls and women."

The festivities, which are open to the public, will kick off on Tuesday, March 29, with "The Noon to Nine Women and Sport Film Festival." The festival will feature a variety of movies, such as "A League of Their Own," observing the importance of sport in the lives of women. The films will be shown from noon to 9 p.m. in the Oak Room of the Barone Campus Center, which will also display a memorabilia exhibit highlighting the achievements of Fairfield University's women athletes over the last three decades.

The exhibit, "Women's Athletics at Fairfield University," will also be on display from noon to 9 p.m. Fairfield University women student athletes will then gather in the Oak Room from 3 to 4 p.m. to host roundtable discussions on the dilemmas they encounter in their combined roles.

On Wednesday, March 30, Dr. Lopiano will share her insights on women and sport at 7 p.m. in the Kelley Theatre of the Quick Center. She serves as executive director of the Women's Sports Foundation, a charitable educational organization founded in 1974 by Billie Jean King, which is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity.

A recognized expert on women and sport, Dr. Lopiano has participated in 26 national championships across four sports. A nine-time All American in softball and former player for the Raybestos Brakettes, she is a member of the National Sports Hall of Fame, the National Softball Hall of Fame and the Texas Women's Hall of Fame among others. Dr. Lopiano previously served for 17 years as the University of Texas Director of Women's Athletics, and the President of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. She is currently a member of the United States Olympic Committees Executive Board.

Rounding out the series of events is a student/faculty panel, "The Culture of Sports, Sports in Our Culture," which will look at sport as a microcosm of the larger society that will take place on Thursday, March 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room of the Barone Campus Center.

The events are sponsored by the Women's Studies Program, the Fairfield University Athletic Department, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the History Department, and are made possible by a generous grant from the Fairfield University Humanities Institute. For more information on the events, contact Dr. Rodrigues at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2784 or e-mail Rodrigues@mail.fairfield.edu.

Posted On: 03-04-2005 10:03 AM

Volume: 37 Number: 182