In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX — a law that prevents anyone’s exclusion from college educational and athletic programs on the basis of their gender and mandates equal amounts of school funding be given for women’s and men’s collegiate athletics — UCSB will host two weeks of events celebrating the legislation and highlighting the effects it has had on college sports.

Title IX can be largely attributed to the efforts of Bernice Sandler, a professor at the University of Maryland who was instrumental in extending the women’s rights granted in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to educational institutions. The series of events will kick off with a discourse between UCSB faculty and staff titled “40 Years and Counting: Where Are We and Title IX Today?” on Oct. 15 at 5:15 p.m. in the McCune Conference Room.

The two-week-long celebration will include lectures, panel forums and film screenings, and some women’s sporting events will pay tribute to the anniversary with special ceremonies.

According to Anna Everett, the Acting Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Academic Policy, the commemoration helps students understand how much progress has been made in this arena in the relatively recent past.

“This celebration is a way of acknowledging that, without this legislation, we as a society wouldn’t have made the progress we have over the last 40 years,” Everett said in a press release. “And while we’ve come a long way, we haven’t come as far as we need to. We have a responsibility to make sure the next generation will have even better opportunities and options.”

UCSB history professor Patricia Cohen said she remembers experiencing the changing tides of women’s rights during her time in school, when the legislation was passed.

“Title IX has been incredibly important,” Cohen said in a press release. “I started graduate school in the late 1960s, in a class that had only four or five women, and 40 men. But from 1973 on, the number of women entering graduate programs in history continued to increase. Now the field is split pretty evenly between men and women.”

More information on the event details can be found at