January 18, 2023

National Champions! Title IX and the 1978 USU Volleyball Team

Kellianne Gammill | kellianne.gammill@usu.edu

USU Covid-19 Oral History Digital Collection

A co-curated exhibit between students from the Department of History and USU Libraries exploring women’s sports and the passage of Title IX was published last week.

Explore the Exhibit

The exhibit, titled National Champions! Title IX and the 1978 USU Volleyball Team, explores Utah State University’s first national championship through oral histories of the players.

The histories were gathered through interviews conducted by students in Dr. Tammy Proctor’s Sport: A Global Hisotry (HIST 3005) class. USU Libraries Special Collections & Archives curators Kelly Rovegno and Dan Davis oversaw the creation of the exhibit as well as provided materials from the archives.

"The students were able to utilize historical material already in the archive as well as create historical documentation themselves by conducting oral histories with players and coaches,” Rovegno said. “It was a great opportunity to get those voices in the archives and we wanted to highlight that work and the voices of the players and coaches themselves.”

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The 1978 USU Volleyball Team

Though women’s sports have existed at USU since 1898, athletes were faced with lack of resources, support and organized leagues. After the passage of Title IX, which prohibited sex-based discrimination in any federally funded education program, women’s teams were able to receive the support needed to compete at a higher level.

“We hope to bring attention to the amazing work of the coaches and players of the volleyball team and that people will take the opportunity to hear from women themselves on their experiences,” Rovegno said. “We wanted to increase visibility of unrepresented groups in our collections, including women. This project is an opportunity to highlight the effect of Title IX on USU and the pioneers who paved the way for women's sports today.”

Along with oral histories, the exhibit features university records, newspaper articles and photographs from the time. Explore the exhibit through http://exhibits.lib.usu.edu/exhibits/show/volleyball.