50th Year of Female Athletics at KWU
Written by Hunter Pane on September 19, 2019
This year marks the 50th year that women have been able to participate in collegiate athletics at Kansas Wesleyan University. It is a historical landmark because if you look at the history of the male athletics, it goes back to the beginning of the institution which was founded in 1886 but it took over 75 years for females to have a fighting chance in collegiate athletics. Thanks to the wonderful Dr. Mary Virginia “Ginny” Bevan, who is credited with helping lay the foundations for female athletics in Kansas and at Kansas Wesleyan University, we now have an amazing female athletics department that brings in many athletic and academic accomplishments every year.
Our lady Yotes are consistently bringing in the highest team GPAs with having the top seven cumulative team GPA’s in the spring semester of 2018. This past spring’s semester, there were a total of twenty-four 4.0’s in athletics with nineteen of those athletes being female. To add some more icing on the cake, out of the people that did not get above a 2.0 which was 94, only fifteen of those students were female.
Every year since 2011, our Lady Yotes have brought back at least one KCAC Championship title, whether it is from Soccer, Golf, Volleyball, Softball, Tennis or Cross-Country, our female teams have dominated their conference.
Dr. Mary Virginia “Ginny” Bevan has a long history with Kansas Wesleyan university which started back in 1952, when she enrolled in the institution to major in English and HPER (Health, Physical Education and Recreation). From there, Dr. Bevan was hired at Kansas Wesleyan University as a physical education professor. She wouldn’t retire from KWU until 1997, which just shows her commitment to not only female athletics, but also Kansas Wesleyan as a whole.
In 1968, Dr. Bevan was part of a group of women physical education professors who met to try and organize women’s intercollegiate athletics at the state level. While there were female sports that sometimes had interschool contests at various colleges, they were not held in any organized manner. In 1969, that group of female educators formed the Association of Kansas Women’s Intercollegiate Sports, which helped start the legacy of female athletics that we have today.
Women’s athletics has come a long way since 1969 and we are extremely proud to see where it will go from here. Hopefully, this has brought some insight to our Lady Yotes history and as always Roll Yotes.