In 1972 women's athletics at UH made its debut with two sports, volleyball and track, under the leadership of Dr. Donnis Thompson and the mandate of the groundbreaking Title IX legislation. Co-authored by Hawaiʻi's Congresswoman Patsy Mink, Title IX made it illegal for education programs receiving federal assistance to discriminate on the basis of gender. Today, UH athletics has more than 200 female student athletes, who compete in 12 sports.
On the 35th anniversary of women's athletics at UH, and the 35th anniversary of Title IX legislation, a series of commemorative events to recognize Congresswoman Mink's achievements, were held. These events were sponsored by American Savings Bank and Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc., and funds were raised to endow a women's athletic scholarship in Congresswoman Patsy Mink's name. This initiative raised $167,000.