1998 to 1999 – National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators

NACWAA achieved two significant milestones in 1999 as the organization celebrated its 20th anniversary and hit the 1,000 membership mark. To both accommodate and prepare for NACWAA’s continued growth, President Karol Kahrs encouraged the Board of Directors to develop both immediate and long-range plans.

“We need to provide the very best professional growth opportunities for our members, both young and more experienced, and we need to have a plan that reflects foresight and the resources necessary to accomplish that plan” (NACWAA Winter Issue 1999).

Karol continued: “In a year of tremendous growth, we need to make a genuine and sincere effort to remain committed and connected to one another. NACWAA has earned respect over the last 20 years and continues to have an impact on intercollegiate athletics for both men and women. Knowledge is a powerful resource. An investment in people is a tremendous tool to effect change” (Winter Issue 1999).

As a step towards organizational and financial long-term growth and sustainability, NACWAA gained 501(c)3 status from the IRS by qualifying as an educational organization.

“It is truly exciting that NACWAA is finally qualified and recognized to be a tax deductible organization. Now our ability to seek charitable contributions to further the goals and objectives of NACWAA can be a reality. We have a golden opportunity in front of us as a tax deductible organization, and I look forward to that new stream of revenue becoming a reality” (NACWAA Spring Issue 1999).

Other major accomplishments from NACWAA during this time:

  • NACWAA supported the NCAA Executive Committee’s efforts to address gender equity and diversity issues
  • Membership expanded to 1,100; Fall Forum hit an all-time high 258 attendees
  • For the first time, the NACWAA Board held its annual meeting at NACWAA/HERS

NACWAA continued to be committed to recognizing the achievements and successes of administrators working in athletics. Click here to view all NACWAA/ Women Leaders in College Sports award winners.

NACWAA Board Members 1998-99

Sandy Barbour, Tulane University
Bridget Belgiovine, President-Elect, NCAA
Carolyn Campbell, Ivy Group
Rita Castagna, Assumption College
Jill DeMichele, Arizona State University
Jo Ann Harper, Dartmouth College
Jane Meyer, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse
M. Dianne Murphy, University of Denver
Laurie Priest, Mount Holyoke College
Denise O’Grady, NCAA
Jean Lenti Ponsetto, DePaul University
Sharon E. Taylor, Past President, Lock Haven University
Patty Viverito, Missouri Valley Conference
Athena Yiamouyiannis, NCAA

NACWAA President: 1998 - 1999

Karol Kahrs
University of Illinois

Dr. Karol Kahrs is best known for her work in creating and implementing the women’s athletics program at the University of Illinois where she spent 36 years of her career. Karol began her career at Illinois as an instructor in the College of Physical Education before transitioning into the athletic department where she served as the assistant athletic director and then associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. Under her leadership, Illinois was one of the first institutions reviewed by the Office of Civil Rights that was in compliance with Title IX guidelines.

Karol served on several NCAA and Big Ten Committees. She was selected to represent the University of Illinois and the NCAA during the Senate Subcommittee Hearings on the Tower Amendment and Title IX. She also served on the Executive Committee for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). Karol received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in Physical Education from the University of Georgia in 1988 and was named an Outstanding Associate Athletic Director by the All-American Football Foundation in 1999. Karol also received the Jostens Administrator of the Year Award from NACWAA in 1992 and was named a Lifetime Achievement Award winner by NACWAA in 2000.

World News

U.S. FIFA World Cup Women's Soccer Team
1999 FIFA World Cup U.S. Women’s Soccer Team

The United States women’s soccer team defeated China in a penalty shootout to claim the 1999 FIFA World Cup. The game was played at the Rose Bowl Stadium in front of 90, 185 fans, which was an international record for the most spectators to watch a women’s sporting event. This event was considered monumental for women as it tremendously increased interest and participation for women’s soccer and women’s sports.