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BYU Athletics celebrates 50th anniversary of Title IX with women’s athletics leaders Elaine Michaelis, Janie Penfield Rasmussen and Liz Darger

PROVO, Utah — BYU Athletics employees gathered in the Cougar Room in LaVell Edwards Stadium on Thursday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX legislation being passed in 1972.

Read more about the 50th anniversary of Title IX from

Share your own athletic experiences at BYU that were afforded because of Title IX

BYU senior associate athletic director/senior woman administrator Liz Darger led a panel discussion that featured former associate athletic director/senior woman administrator Janie Penfield Rasmussen and legendary former BYU player, coach and administrator Elaine Michaelis.

The trio spoke about some of the history of women’s athletics at BYU, progress that has been made over the years and work to do to move forward. Both Darger and Rasmussen expressed appreciation for the remarkable legacy left by Michaelis.

Michaelis shared stories of her time at BYU, which included playing volleyball, softball and basketball in the late 1950s; coaching softball, basketball and field hockey through the 60s and 70s; and coaching volleyball from 1961-2002. Michaelis coached her teams to an incredible 356-37 (.906) record in conference play, while claiming 23 conference titles. Michaelis also served as director of women’s intercollegiate athletics at BYU from 1995-2004. She is a member of the BYU Athletics Hall of Fame, among her many other career accolades.

Michaelis shared advice for those in attendance as BYU moves forward, into the Big 12 Conference in 2023.

“Be who you are,” Michaelis said. “We are a wonderful group of people. We need to share with others the things we have.”

Michaelis went on to speak about the uniqueness of BYU and the important mission of the university and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rasmussen also shared her sentiment.

“As we’re striving to be more like Jesus Christ,” Rasumussen said, “we find success.”

BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe and advancement vice president Keith Vorkink were both in attendance and shared brief messages at the event.

“Today’s event was a wonderful opportunity to sit at the feet of not only a pioneer in BYU women’s athletics, but all of women’s athletics," Holmoe said. "I am so very thankful to Elaine, for all that she has done for BYU Athletics and all that she is.”

Read more about Elaine Michaelis from this feature in the Daily Universe