Indiana State University Newsroom

Pioneer in women's athletics to speak about Title IX

March 14, 2014

A nationally recognized coach and athletics administrator will be the inaugural Dr. Mildred Lemen Distinguished Speaker March 27 at Indiana State University.

Linda Herman, a 1968 Indiana State graduate who served Illinois State University for more than 30 years, will have a lunchtime discussion with students in the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services and deliver a talk about "Title IX: Why Should We Care" at 4 p.m. in the Nursing Building, room 105.

"Because Title IX was such a transformational piece of legislation in our athletic culture and in our society, it is important for us to realize some of the groundwork that was laid for young athletes, who are having an opportunity to participate now," Herman said. "I'll talk about how that was laid out for them legislatively, but also how things have changed and issues to consider for the future."

Women must not be complacent and should not think about what they cannot do but should focus on what they can do to make a difference in the world, such as creating new opportunities, just as Title IX did, she said.

Herman said passage of Title IX, a portion of the Education Amendments of 1972, was primarily about access to higher education for women at a time when opportunities for female students were limited, particularly in medical schools and law schools.

"Athletics became a sidebar to it," she said.

A national pioneer for women's athletics, Herman has served Illinois State University and its student-athletes for more than 30 years. She began as head volleyball coach and finished her seven-year coaching career with a 267-112 record, including a pair of national finishes in the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women tournament. She went on to serve as senior women's administrator and director of athletics. During her time as an administrator, the Redbirds won 117 Missouri Valley Conference titles and 16 conference all-sports championships. In 2003, she was inducted in the American Volleyball Coaches Association's (AVCA) inaugural Hall of Fame class.

Herman said she is honored to serve as the first Lemen Distinguished Speaker, noting that Lemen was her physical education professor during her time at Indiana State.

"I went to Indiana State because of the reputation of the physical education program, and Dr. Lemen was a very instrumental part of that reputation," she said. "She is inspiring and someone that you respect and want to be like, a great role model."

In establishing the speaker series via a gift to the Indiana State University Foundation, Lemen "has created opportunities for students to learn," Herman said. "I give her a lot of credit for that."

Lemen, who served Indiana State and its students from 1963 to 1993, said one of her goals in creating the speaker fund was "to unify the college and have speakers representing the various units in the college."

The College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services was created in 2007 from the former College of Nursing and College of Health and Human Services.

Lemen said she hopes the speaker series can continue to bring in "experts who would be able to direct students toward new disciplines within the college and inform them of new technologies, guiding them in new directions in health, nutrition, physical education or any other disciplines found in our departments. It's important to give something back to where we taught and worked. Plus, it's something I wanted to do."

Photo: - Linda Herman

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or

Story Highlights

Linda Herman, a 1968 Indiana State University graduate who served Illinois State University for 30 years as a coach and athletics administrator will speak at 4 p.m. March 27 about the legacy of 1972 federal legislation that opened opportunities for women.

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