CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The sports landscape changed 50 years ago for female athletes with Title IX signed into law and five decades later the impact was clear on the face of every person at the VHSL celebration on Thursday.

More than 200 people gathered at Virginia's Alumni Hall for a 50th anniversary luncheon to celebrate the momentous day in history and what Title IX still means.

"I'm speechless and a little bit in awe of the women in the room," UVA Deputy Athletics Director Kim Record said, "I think today was a wonderful way to celebrate the past, think about the future, but live in the present and it was very moving."

Record featured on a panel alongside former professional basketball player Vivian Greene Brown and former Olympian Yogi Hightower-Booth, moderated by William Monroe alum and current UVA forward Sam Brunelle. UVA Director of Athletics Carla Williams started the event sharing her own journey through athletics. Hers and the other many stories inside the room painted a picture of the barriers women have faced in sports and the fight to continue to push forward.

“I played sports in high school, in college and professionally, and I simply cannot imagine my life without sports,” UVA Director of Athletics Carla Williams said, "And yet, before Title IX, dreams went unfulfilled, physical talent went dormant and unused, leadership, organizational and management skills went untapped. This should not have been the case and we have to be vigilant to make sure it never happens again.”

The last year has seen transformational moments in women's athletics from the USA women's soccer national team receiving equal pay to the men's national team after years of fighting, while the NCAA made a series of changes to put the women's and men's basketball tournaments on more equal footing.

For the high school state champions and younger generations like Brunelle, the message taken away though was there is more to be done.

"I was talking to somebody earlier and she was talking about how it is a layer and a layer and a layer thing," Brunelle said, "And you know we've definitely made progress but there is still a lot of progress to be made and more layers to lay down and so I am excited that you know myself and many other young women who are in my spot get to lay a layer down for the younger kids that are coming up."