It's hard to imagine a time when women weren't competing on the same level as the men at the collegiate level in the United States, but it wasn't that long ago that there were no women's sports offered in sanctioned school events. At South Dakota State, that era ended during the 1965-66 school year, when volleyball, gymnastics, track, and field hockey were added as intercollegiate sports.

It's now 50 years later, and SDSU is commemorating a half century of women's athletics in Brookings with a series of events this year.

The '50 Years of Women’s Athletics Celebration' is underway, with Jackrabbit fans casting ballots through July 31 to select the Top 50 women student-athletes in school history. More than 100 names are on the ballot, going all the way back to the late 1960's.

The top 50 female student-athletes will be recognized at a welcome luncheon and at halftime of the women's basketball game, November 13. The welcome luncheon is part of a weekend of festivities, November 12-14, during which all former Jackrabbit female student-athletes, coaches, staff and their families are invited to attend.

The weekend activities will include a lecture by Chris Voelz, executive director of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards and former Minnesota women’s director of athletics, in the SDSU Performing Arts Center November 12 at 7:00 PM. The lecture is part of the SDSU Harding Distinguished Lecture series.

The 50 Years of Women’s Athletics welcome luncheon is at McCrory Gardens, November 13, at noon. Former Jackrabbits who played from 1965-66 to 1973-74 will be presented their varsity letters.