Virginia “Ginny” Hunt, Ph.D., grew up in Tipton, Iowa. As a young girl in the 1940s, she loved sports and was a good athlete, but women of that era did not have many opportunities to play organized sports. Some thought that physical exertion might interfere with childbearing abilities. At least that was the gist of the answer Hunt received when she questioned school authorities about it. And she spent her career trying to give young women the opportunities to which she did not have access during her formative years.
Hunt attended the University of Iowa. There she became a member of the Iowa Zeta chapter of Pi Beta Phi. Her sister Nancy Ann was initiated in 1950, Virginia in 1954. The only opportunity to play sports was in intermural games.
She played the drum in the Scottish Highlanders. The group travelled to the 1957 Rose Bowl where the Hawkeyes played Oregon State and won 35-19.
And although she was not afforded the opportunity to be an intercollegiate athlete, she was instrumental in providing that opportunity to generations of women who followed. Her undergraduate degree was in political science and physical education. Her master’s was in physical education. She was hired by the College of Wooster in 1962. She was there for 13 years and coached field hockey, volleyball and golf in addition to her teaching duties. In 1970, she became Wooster’s first Director of Athletics for Women.
Hunt earned an Ph.D. in Educational Administration at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was then hired by the University of Michigan as Associate Director of Athletics. In 1977, she became the Director of Athletics at Montana State University.
She was an advocate for women in sports and she walked the walk and talked the talk. She was president-elect of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women in 1982, the year it dissolved into the NCAA. Hunt had previously served as the AIAW ethics and eligibility chair. She also served on the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1980-1984 dealing with questions of eligibility.
Hunt retired from Montana in 1993, but was a staunch supporter of its athletic programs throughout her retirement. She died on November 27, 2022 at the age of 86. It was the same year Title IX turned 50.