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Christine Grant, Title IX pioneer, dies at 85


Christine Grant, Iowa women’s athletic director and pioneer of Title IX, died Friday at the age of 85.

Serving in her role for 27 years, Grant was Iowa’s first women’s athletic director, assuming the position in 1973. Grant retired from the post in 2000 when the men’s and women’s athletic departments combined.

During her tenure, Grant hired C. Vivian Stringer as the Hawkeyes’ women’s basketball head coach. Beginning in 1983, Stringer led Iowa to six Big Ten titles and a Final Four appearance in 1993. Current Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder is also a Grant hire, leading the Hawkeyes to a 6-3 record on the season.

“I owe Dr. Grant so much. She hired me to coach at this university that I love so dearly. More importantly, she gave the opportunity to thousands upon thousands of girls to enjoy and benefit from participating in athletics,” said Bluder in a statement through the university.

Born in Scotland in 1936, Grant quickly took to the game of field hockey before attending Iowa to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She also earned a Ph.D. in sports administration from Iowa in 1974. In 1994, Iowa renamed the school’s field hockey stadium “Grant Field” in honor of the icon.

A Title IX advocate and a consultant for the Civil Rights Title IX Task Force, Grant testified before the United States House of Representatives in support of the landmark 1972 legislation.

Grant was also a founding member and president of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, a body that oversaw collegiate women’s sports for 11 years starting in 1971.

In 2006 Grant was inducted into the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame. She was honored with the NCAA President’s Gerald R. Ford Award the following year, acknowledging her advocacy in intercollegiate athletics.