She shined as an individual. But her true contribution was leveling the playing field for all women in sports.

In remembrance of Dr. Christine Grant, 1936 – 2021

In December 2021, the Iowa Women’s Foundation lost a dear friend, Dr. Christine Grant.

Christine was a pioneer and true supporter of women’s equality. Throughout a career in collegiate athletics that spanned more than five decades, she opened the door for promising women leaders and championed coaches like C. Vivian Stringer and Lisa Bluder, for whom she was a fierce advocate and mentor.

Christine not only looked out for her own “team”—she worked to increase opportunities for women and girls in sports everywhere. As a consultant for the Civil Rights Title IX Task Force, she testified before Congress as an expert in gender equality in athletics. And in addition to becoming the first ever Women’s Athletic Director for the University of Iowa in 1973, she was a founding member of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

“If there was a Mount Rushmore of impactful female pioneers in sports, Christine would be on it,” says legendary women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer. “Every girl today who participates in sports owes a small debt of gratitude to Dr. Grant.”

Dr. Grant will be remembered for her impressive list of “firsts” and her many accomplishments, which include honors from the NACWAA, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport; the Billie Jean King Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation; the elite NCAA President’s Gerald R Ford Award; and inductions to both the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame and the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame. But it’s her legacy as an advocate and champion for other women that will hold a permanent place in our hearts.