Former Faculty Representative, Champion For Women’s Athletics Passes

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Yvonne “Bonnie” Slatton passed away at the age of 84 on Sept. 8 in Iowa City.

Slatton was a Faculty Representative to the Big Ten and the NCAA for 21 years, and was a champion for equal rights for all people.

A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Slatton graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and English, the University of North Carolina in 1964 with a master’s in physical education, and from the University of Iowa in 1970 with a Ph.D. in physical education.

She began her tenure in the then Women’s Physical Education Department at the University of Iowa in 1964, where she served as a faculty member, and a tennis and badminton coach.

Her interest in ethical and moral issues in sport and leisure, as well as gender and diversity, led her to be active in governance issues in sports. Slatton taught courses at UI that dealt with these issues, for example, Inequality in Sport and Sociology of Women in Sport and Philosophy of Sport.

Slatton was longtime friends with former UI Women’s Athletics Director Christine Grant and professor Peggy Burke. The three professors were leaders on UI’s campus and nationally recognized for their advocacy for equal opportunities for women and girls in sport. Slatton, Grant and Burke led a national effort to ensure equal opportunities for women. What we see in intercollegiate athletics today is testimony to their effectiveness.

Slatton was an active participant in the NCAA Committee on Infractions, participated as a member of the Executive Committee and Executive Board of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and was a member of the official delegation to the Pan Am Games in Cuba and the Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Slatton received the National Honor Award through the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport in 1987, the M. Gladys Scott Award through the Department of Physical Education and Dance in 1983, the Lou Henry Hoover Award in 1992, was named Distinguished Alumni at Middle Tennessee State University in 1994, received the Brody Award at UI in 1995, the Jean Jew Award at UI in 1997, and was a recipient of the Hancher Finkbine Award in 2009.

She served as President of the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports and spent a year in Washington D.C. as Acting Executive Director of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.