Marquette Launches Elevating Excellence in Women's Athletics

NOW: Marquette Launches Elevating Excellence in Women’s Athletics

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Marquette has launched a new initiative.

Just three years after Title IX became  a law in June of 1972, women's athletics began at Marquette with volleyball, tennis and basketball.

"I've been in the business a long time and I've seen the good it has done for our female student athletes. Not just the number of opportunities but the quality of those opportunities," said Bill Scholl. "It's chasing championships, it's providing them with the resources they need to maximize their abilities as student-athletes and to me that's been the great benefit of Title IX over the last 50 years."

"50 years of Title IX. We've grown so much. I wouldn't be here standing up as the head coach at Marquette with all these opportunities if it wasn't for Title IX," said Megan Duffy, Marquette women's basketball coach. "I think the biggest thing that we want to press on is there's still more to be done."

With that thought in mind, Marquette has now created an Elevating Excellence in Women's Athletics initiative for its women's programs. It's sparked by large alumni donations from Michael and Barbara Klein as well as Bob Sobczack to the women's basketball program.

“After seeing these young women play basketball together year after year and meeting them individually, it became clear that they are exemplars of what athletic competition in college means. They are building their own storied history and are encouraging a growing fan base to come to Marquette’s campus and watch women’s basketball," said Sobczack in a University release.

In addition to initial donations to the programs, the Kleins established an endowed scholarship for the women's basketball program.

“For the student-athlete recipient, scholarship is a chance to live the Marquette experience. We hope our support will open doors and lay a foundation for student-athletes to thrive throughout their time on campus, as part of a Marquette team, and after graduation,” the Kleins said in a University release.

"It's not just about the basketball, it's about putting these women in position to thrive as a student-athlete here at Marquette, but also to take them to be the difference when they get out into the real world," said Duffy.

Marquette has seven women's athletic programs on campus. A full tuition endowed scholarship is also being funded by the alumni donation.

"(It's) The appreciation of what our young ladies do. How hard they work and how gifted they are both academically and athletically," said Ryan Theis, Marquette women's volleyball coach. "Because they're role models."

"I'm really looking forward to seeing how this initiative advances. It's worth it to invest in our future women," said Duffy.

According to a school release, $3.6 million has been raised through Marquette's overarching giving campaign Time to Rise, for women's athletics.

"All of our student athletes come here with big dreams and it takes a lot from our standpoint to make sure that they have the opportunity to realize those dreams," said Scholl. "If we're going to provide our female student athletes with the opportunities that they deserve then we got to get very aggressive In the philanthropic area and a Time to Rise has given us a vehicle to do that."

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