Because of Title IX: Terri Steeb Gronau

Vice President of Division II, NCAA

Finish this sentence: “Because of Title IX..."

I have opportunity! The opportunity to play competitive sports my entire life. The opportunity to get an education. The opportunity to do whatever I want without boundaries.

How have the athletic and academic opportunities afforded to you because of Title IX impacted your life? Can you imagine your life without them?

My love of sports and education started earlier and have been a part of my life since grade school. The opportunity to participate in college sports gave me the avenue to pursue my professional career of athletics administration. I now work in a field that every day strives to provide the best experience for student-athletes, so they can grow, learn, develop, and become our future leaders. I am not sure what I would be doing as a career other than athletics, but am thankful every day for the blessing of working in college sports.

Tell us about a woman who championed you in pursuing your goals. How did her influence inspire or affect you and your career?

This list is long and would take several pages to answer with the number of people who have championed me throughout my career, but one specific example was my college coach, Judy Sackfield. As a freshman in college, she appointed me as the volleyball rep to the UAB Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. It was through this service that I realized athletics administration is what I wanted to pursue. Without her making that assignment, I know I would have never considered athletics administration as a career. Even as a freshman, Judy believed in me and put me on the committee.

How are you continuing to champion the next generation of women and girls in sports, and raise awareness on the importance Title IX?

We must remember the history to ensure it is not repeated. Many of us today don’t know life with boundaries and restrictions. We need to know that not everyone had the same opportunity and that we need to cherish our unlimited possibilities. Women before us and women now fight to ensure we can pursue whatever we want. I do whatever I can to remind people of the history. Also, it is daily interactions in which I look to lift up the next generation. It is the casual lunch, chat in the hallway, allowing them to be the leader in a meeting or initiative and giving them the tools to be successful.

If you could send an empowering tweet to every woman and girl across the country, what would you send?

Truly believe anything is possible. You are in control of endless possibilities. #WomenLeaders #LiftUp #MakeItYours

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