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Christine Grant papers

Identifier: IWA0329

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Scope and Contents

The Christine Grant papers date from 1952 to 2022 and measure 30 linear feet. The papers are arranged in ten series: Biographical information, Gender equity in Athletics, Publications, Speeches, Professional and Political Involvement, University of Iowa, Newspaper Clippings, Photographs, Artifacts, and Audiovisual.

Grant's professional career is documented in the Biographical Information series (1952-2006), which is comprised of certificates, job offers, awards, and a curriculum vita. Photocopies of the many plaques and trophies not held by the archives are included here. The correspondence in this series consists of congratulatory and thank-you letters. It also includes a memorandum to Grant from Casey Mahon, regarding the 1985 women's basketball game attendance that exceeded the arena's capacity. Newspaper articles concern Grant's career as an administrator and spokeswoman for gender equity, and also document the Grant Field dedication ceremony and her retirement from the athletics department. The bulk of this series dates from 1971-2005, with six pocket editions of Scottish Country Dance Books (1952-1956) completing the series.

The Gender Equity in Athletics series (1971-2009) documents Christine Grant's commitment to ensuring opportunities for girls and women in sport. The series includes legal documents, notes, correspondence, and Grant's testimony in the 1982 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) vs. Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) lawsuit. Material pertaining to Title IX legal action taken by universities and high schools nationwide includes court briefs, testimony, affidavits, correspondence, and media coverage. Grant's involvement as an expert witness can be viewed in her briefs, notes and other material used during her testimony, depositions, and expert reports. Included, are general documents dealing with Title IX compliance, self study surveys, reviews, government documents published by the Office of Civil Rights, and committee hearings, including Grant's testimony before the Postsecondary Education Committee and statements before the Senate Judiciary Committee and United States Commission on Civil Rights. Grant's resource files consist of articles, facts and figures that she used in speeches and publications, and a book about women's athletics that is shelved with the printed works collection in the Iowa Women's Archives: Silver Era Golden Moments: A Celebration of Ivy League Women's Athletics (1999) by Lynn Page Whittaker and Daniel H. Rosenthal.

The Publications series (1979-2008) consists of articles written by Grant for scholarly journals, newspaper editorials, and periodicals, along with drafts, manuscripts, and correspondence with editors, co-authors, and colleagues.

The speeches given by Grant at local clubs, schools, national and international organizations and banquets held by the University of Iowa Women's Athletics Program are located in the Speeches series (1972-2001). The speeches consist of reflections on women in sports, the impact of Title IX, the NCAA and AIAW, and a series of motivational speeches entitled "Jonathan Livingston Seagull." AIAW speeches and speeches presented by others, including N. Peggy Burke, complete the series.

Grant's involvement in a variety of professional organizations is documented in the Professional and Political Involvement series (1971-2002), which consists of constitutions, by-laws, handbooks, publications, studies, reports, position papers, and other material pertaining to the organizations. Included are papers relating to the dispute between the NCAA and the AIAW over intercollegiate championships for women. The series also documents Grant's participation in political organizations and causes including the Feminist Majority Foundation's Task Force on Women and Girls in Sports during the mid-1990s and her work on the 1982 fundraising campaign for Roxanne Conlin for Governor of Iowa.

The University of Iowa series (1974-2000) is arranged by Grant's work as Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Education for Women and as the Iowa Women's Athletics director. The series includes an executive summary on gender equity, marketing, and budget plans, a Title IX compliance self-study, and papers pertaining to the effects of restructuring the NCAA on her position as director of Women's Athletics. A ten-year plan written in the late 1970s and later committee reports, minutes, and a self-study conducted during the reorganization of the Department of Physical Education for Women complete the series.

Grant's fight to provide equal opportunities for girls and women in sport is reflected in the Newspaper Clippings series(1978-2002). The series consists of articles collected by Grant on racial and gender equity, Title IX, NCAA vs. AIAW lawsuits, and athletics at the University of Iowa.

Portraits of Grant used for publications and photographs of Grant at award ceremonies, conventions, and with colleagues at work and on the playing fields comprise the Photographs series.

The Artifacts series (1981-2007) contains award and membership plaques such as the Grant Field Dedication and the University of Iowa's AIAW Charter Membership Plaque.

The Audiovisual series (1992-2009) includes recordings of a debate between NCAA and AIAW leaders, and radio shows in which Grant and fellow gender equity activist Bonnie Slatton discuss issues of Title IX and high school and collegiate women's sports. There are two videocassettes. The first is student athletes speaking about the dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco. The second includes Iowa Women's Basketball game footage, interviews of coach Lark Birdsong, and athletes discussing six on six versus five on five women's basketball.


  • Creation: 1952-2022


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Sports administrator, professor, and gender equity activist Christine Grant was born in May 1936 in Bo'ness, Scotland, to Donald Annan and Jean (Orr) Grant. In 1956 Grant received her Diploma of Physical Education at Dunfermline College in Aberdeen, Scotland. After graduating she was a high school teacher and coach in Graeme, Scotland (1956-1961), and field hockey coach and umpire at the high school, collegiate, national and international levels in British Columbia (1961-1964), Ottawa (1964-1965), and Toronto (1965-1971).

Grant moved to Iowa City, Iowa, to pursue a bachelor's degree in physical education at the University of Iowa. She received her bachelor's degree in 1969, and continued her graduate work, earning a master's degree in physical education in 1970, and a Ph.D. in physical education with an emphasis in administration in 1974. Christine Grant began her tenure as the first and only athletic director of the Department of Women's Athletics at the University of Iowa in 1973, holding the position until her retirement in 2000. Grant also served as associate professor within the Department of Physical Education for Women (1973-2006).

Grant has spoken and published widely and has held numerous leadership positions as an advocate of gender equity in sports. She served as the president of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) from 1980 to 1981, and testified as an expert witness and advisor in Title IX lawsuits. She received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious Billie Jean King Award presented by the Women's Sports Foundation, two honorary doctorates, and induction into the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame and the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame. Christine Grant passed away in Iowa City, in 2021.


30 Linear Feet (Photographs in boxes 42 and 92; Artifacts in boxes 42-46 and 93; 10 audiocassettes [AC989-AC998]; 2 videocassettes [V316-V317]; 24 DVDS [d0359 - d0382]. )

Language of Materials



Sports administrator, professor, and gender equity activist.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 450) were donated by Christine Grant in 1997, Lark Birdsong (donor no. 1536) in 2022, and others in succeeding years.

Related Materials

University of Iowa Department of Physical Education for Women records (IWA)

C. Pauline Spencer papers (IWA): Spencer was a 1923 graduate of the University's Department of Physical Education for Women and a standout athlete in many sports.

N. Peggy Burke papers (IWA): Burke was a faculty member in the University of Iowa Department of Physical Education for Women.

WSUI- Julie Englander, "100th Anniversary of UI Health and Sport Studies" (IWA): Audiotaped interviews with alumnae and faculty of the Department of Health and Sport Studies conducted by Englander during centennial reunion events in 2004.

Nicole Kotrba, 2002; Jun-Nicole Matsushita, 2005 and 2006; Margaret Halterman, 2013; Emma Barton-Norris, 2022.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)