Author

Marlene Mawson

Marlene Mawson

Marlene Mawson is an emerita professor of physical education at the University of Kansas, where she was on the faculty from 1968 to 1990. Known as the “Mother of KU Women’s Athletics,” Dr. Mawson initiated athletics for women at KU in 1968. Inducted into the KU Athletics Hall of Fame and the KU Women’s Hall of Fame, she was also named a “KU Pioneer Woman” and is the only woman recipient of the K-Club Service Award. In 1990, she moved to Illinois State University, where she chaired the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation until 2000. A distinguished alumna of the University of Central Missouri, she earned her master’s degree from the University of Colorado in 1966 and her PhD from the University of Oregon in 1973. Her memoir "Mawson’s Mission: Launching Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Kansas" (University Press of Kansas, 2020) traces the beginning decade of KU women’s athletics within the context of the development of national intercollegiate sports championships for women. It was selected as a Kansas Notable Book of the Year for 2021.

OPINION

How we worked to establish women’s intercollegiate athletics in Kansas before Title IX

By: - June 24, 2021

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of widening the conversation about how public policies affect the day-to-day lives of people throughout our state. Marlene Mawson is an emerita professor of physical education at the University of Kansas. Her 2020 memoir, Mawson’s Mission: Launching Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics at the University […]