The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Sylvia Moore Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Janice Dilg.

March 31, 2015


“Building a Foundation for Women's Athletics at OSU”  March 31, 2015  Location: Moore residence, Corvallis, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Moore describes her upbringing near Seattle, her interest as a girl in sports and physical activities, and her undergraduate studies in Physical Education at the University of Washington. She notes her early work as a junior high PE teacher and gymnastics coach, and then discusses her graduate work in Physical Education at the University of Oregon.

The bulk of the session is devoted to Moore's experiences as an instructor, coach, game official and administrator at Oregon State University. In outlining her career, she begins by recounting her arrival at the university in 1966 and the state of women's athletics at that time. Moore is particularly vivid in recalling the rudimentary infrastructure available to female athletes of the era, describing the primitive facilities and restrictive policies that governed their activities at OSU.

Moore next recalls the passage of Title IX in 1972 and the impact that this federal legislation made at OSU on various issues, including travel and participation in championship events. She likewise shares her memories of OSU's movement away from the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women in favor of membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the broader environment on the OSU campus during the late 1960s.

Moore's tenure as the university's Director of Women's Athletics is the next topic of discussion. She notes her efforts to improve facilities for female athletes and discusses allies that she made in her work to advance women's sports at Oregon State. She then describes the merger of men's and women's athletics at OSU, her stint as interim Athletic Director, and the steady growth of women's sports in the years that followed.

As it nears its conclusion, the session shifts focus to Moore's work as Director of Conferences and as Special Events Coordinator at the LaSells Stewart Center. She also discusses changes in the community and an event held in 2012 to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Title IX. The interview closes with Moore's thoughts on the continuing evolution of women's athletics, her activities in retirement, and the future direction of OSU.