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Fund Celebrates Jody Conradt’s Legacy of Empowered Young Women

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The Jody Conradt Endowed Excellence Fund has been established in the University’s College of Liberal Arts to inspire and instruct students on the importance of leadership and equity and to promote faculty research in that area. Named for the University’s legendary women’s basketball coach who retired in 2007 after a 38-year career, the endowment will benefit the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (CWGS), a University-wide, interdisciplinary research and teaching program.

“Understanding the challenges and opportunities that motivate young women to compete and succeed in every field requires both academic research and the presence of strong role models for our students,” says CWGS director Susan Sage Heinzelman. “No one represents women’s potential for excellence and leadership better than Jody Conradt.”

helped hundreds of young women excel as players, students, and future leaders.

In her 31 years as a UT coach, Jody Conradt helped hundreds of young women excel as players, students, and future leaders.

“It is both gratifying and humbling to be associated with this excellence fund, which will advance, enrich, and educate women students,” says Conradt. “One of the most rewarding aspects of coaching and athletics administration was witnessing the maturation, confidence-building and empowerment of undergraduate women. Developing leaders is central to UT’s mission, and the academic programs offered by the Center for Women and Gender Studies prepare young women for such roles.”

Initially, the endowment will support the Texas Undergraduate Leadership Program (TULIP) at CWGS. The program provides stipends, mentoring, workshops, and community service opportunities to 10 women from each undergraduate class. The students must come from groups that are underrepresented on campus or study disciplines in which women are underrepresented.

College of Liberal Arts dean Randy L. Diehl notes that it is unusual for an academic endowment to be created to honor a university women’s athletics coach. “What better way,” he says, “to recognize the pivotal role Coach Conradt has played in creating opportunity for and demanding excellence from women, both on and off the court?”

In her 31 years as head coach of the UT women’s basketball team, Conradt led the University to four NCAA Final Four appearances. While coaching championship teams, she also helped hundreds of young women excel as players, students, and future leaders. Ninety-nine percent of her letter winners went on to earn their college degrees.

CWGS has about 275 faculty affiliates in schools and colleges across the campus. The center offers several degree programs and has hundreds of students who participate in those programs. Like Conradt, CWGS is dedicated to closing the leadership gap through a variety of initiatives like the CWGS Faculty Development Program, TULIP, and the Ann Richards School Partnership Program.

To help honor Coach Jody Conradt’s legacy through a contribution to the Jody Conradt Endowed Excellence Fund, visit the CWGS How to Give page or contact gift officer Kathleen Aronson by email or at 512-475-9763.

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