Pioneer in women's sports to aid University of New Haven in advocacy

WEST HAVEN -- The University of New Haven and its in-residence athlete-advocacy organization, The Drake Group, have scored a Hall of Famer to be executive-in-residence for UNH's sports-management program.

Donna Lopiano, former chief executive officer of the Women's Sports Foundation, who has repeatedly been called one of "the 100 most influential people in sports," will be working closely with the Drake Group this school year in drafting proposed federal legislation on college athletics. She is a member of the Drake Group's advisory board.

Lopiano, who attended Southern Connecticut State University, graduating with a degree in physical education in 1968, is a six-time national champion in college sports, a member of 13 halls of fame and was also named one of the "Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports."

She will offer a talk titled "Should College Athletes be Paid? Implications for Title IX" at UNH Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Kaplan Hall, Room 109. The event is free and open to the public.

"We are very pleased that Dr. Lopiano has agreed to come to UNH," said Allen Sack, professor of sport management and president of the Drake Group. "She has a lot to share with our students and will be invaluable in working on issues related to college athletics."

Lopiano is known for her leadership advocating for gender equity in sports, recognized by the International Olympic Committee, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and others.

She served for 18 years as the University of Texas at Austin's director of women's athletics and is a past president of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. All eight University of Texas women's sports were consistently ranked in the nation's Top 10 in Division 1, earning 18 national championships in six different sports. And 90 percent of female athletes who exhausted their athletic eligibility at the University of Texas received a baccalaureate degree.

Call senior writer Joe Amarante at 203-789-5675. Have questions, feedback or ideas about our news coverage? Connect directly with the editors of the New Haven Register at AskTheRegister.com. ___

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