Women and the 'M'

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Sheryl Szady, a leader of the movement to claim the varsity 'M', holds a varsity jacket in 1975.

Since the organization of Michigan sports in the 1860s, the varsity ‘M’ award has been a fundamental of U-M athletics. For most of its existence, the privilege of wearing the ‘M’ was a right reserved exclusively for men. Nonetheless, women challenged this practice multiple times throughout the 20th century. Women first began petitioning for the 'M' in 1914, but it would not be until 1992 that women would be recognized the same way as men.