The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX with several events that raised $700,000 to support Rainbow Wahine sports programs.
Title IX is the historic federal legislation co-sponsored by Hawaiʻi’s Patsy Mink that opened the doors for women’s athletics at universities across the United States.
The “Wahine on the Rise — The Celebration” on Oct. 14 at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center raised about $450,000. About 300 guests enjoyed a three-course meal prepared by three top local female chefs.
“Wahine on the Rise — Day of Giving” raised $253,613 from 596 donors. The event was fittingly held on Sept. 1, the date of the home opener for the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team, which was one of the first women’s intercollegiate teams at UH.
On Sept. 10, a free public field day of interactive activities with Rainbow Wahine teams was held at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.
“The support of the donors and volunteers for ‘Wahine on the Rise’ has been incredible,” said Nancy Wo, chair of the volunteer Wahine on the Rise committee for UH Athletics. “The strength shown by our donors is mirrored in the amazing strength our women athletes show each day on the court, on the field and in the water.”
Lois Manin, UH associate athletics director and head of operations, said: “The committee that Nancy assembled did incredible work to launch support from these donors. It was very important to the committee to provide opportunities for community involvement and support young girls and women in their journeys. Forming connections with the community and our women’s student-athletes and coaches is important to the sustainability of the program.”
UH Mānoa has about 550 student-athletes who compete in 13 sports. In addition to volleyball, approximately 250 women student-athletes at UH Mānoa compete in basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, golf, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and water polo.
Mink, a former Hawaiʻi Congresswoman, co-authored the landmark Title IX of the U.S. Educational Amendments of 1972 legislation. After her death in 2002, Congress renamed Title IX the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. In 2014, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
UH Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law is also honoring Patsy Mink with the creation of the Patsy Takemoto Mink Endowed Chair for Law and Social Justice, a tribute to Mink’s fight for gender equality and a guarantee that social justice programs will continue at the law school, training generations of lawyers to fight against all discrimination as Mink did.