Can’t Spell ‘Celebrate’ Without a ‘C’

Pre-1980 female athletes to be presented with their letters in August

The letter “C” can mean so much. Women who participated in athletics at Chico State prior to 1980 did not receive letters for their athletic participation. Unlike their male counterparts, they had no snow-white “C” to pin to their sweaters. 

They will soon. Chico State’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is hosting a Women in Athletics celebration on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 3 to 6 pm in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium to honor those women and present them with their well-earned letters.

If you have information on the whereabouts of female student-athletes from the 1930s through the 1970s, please contact Athletics at 530-898-6470 or click on the “Women in Athletics Celebration” link at

In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, commonly referred to as Title IX, changing the landscape of women’s athletics forever. The law requires gender equity in every educational program that gets federal funding. It stated, in part, that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Chico State has had some form of women’s athletics for at least a century. The women who competed on those early teams were pioneers. Without equal financial backing, facilities, or administrative support, they played on for the love of the game. They laid the foundation for the tremendous success enjoyed by today’s female Wildcats.

“It’s been nearly 75 years since Jane Shurmer (in top photo) arrived at Chico State and initiated sports days for women,” says Athletic Director Anita Barker. “It’s time those who built the foundation for women’s sports at Chico State to receive their letters and recognition they deserve.”

It’s nice to know that leaders like Barker and Assistant Athletic Director Mitch Cox are C-ing to it.

Luke Reid, Chico State Sports Information

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Women’s Basketball —’Cats Are CCAA Champs

The ’Cats were the team to beat in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The Wildcats captured their first CCAA crown in five seasons with an overtime victory at Cal State Monterey Bay. Led by Head Coach Brian Fogel, they finished the season 22–4 overall and advanced to the NCAA Championship Tournament for the ninth time in 11 seasons.

Cross Country—Two More Top 5s

Chico State’s cross country teams each won West Region titles and finished fifth at the NCAA Championships. It was the 10th straight top-10 finish for the women and the 13th for the men. Junior Sara Mikesell finished 14th overall, earning a spot atop the team’s list of all-time best NCAA Championship finishers. In the men’s race, Isaac Chavez finished 13th and Adrian Sherrod 27th to earn All-America honors.

Men’s Soccer—Alum Wondo Wows Us Again

Chris Wondolowski (attended fall ’01–fall ’04) is one of 48 former student-athletes named to the NCAA Division II 40th Anniversary Tribute Team. He led the Wildcats to the 2003 NCAA Championship match. Since being drafted 41st in the 2005 Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft, he’s led the MLS in goals in each of the last three years and was named the league’s MVP last season. 

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Alum Notes

Mark Ulriksen

Mark Ulriksen

(BA, Information and Communication Studies, ’80) illustrated the New Yorker’s 2012 election cover.

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Istvan Kadar

(BA, Chemistry, ’71) is helping design Disney’s newest theme park in Shanghai.

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Laurel Miller

Laurel Miller

(BA, Communication Design, ’92) runs The Sustainable Kitchen, a cooking school/farm tour program.

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