New Scholarship Program

July 13, 2017

Women Leaders in College Sports announced that it has opened applications for a brand-new program that will fund three scholarships for women who are employed at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Each scholarship will cover one year of Women Leaders membership, and one registration and accompanying travel costs to the 2017 Women Leaders Convention in Dallas.

The goal of the HBCU scholarship program will be to extend the best-in-class leadership programming and career development Women Leaders in College Sports offers to women at HBCUs. Among those resources is the Women Leaders Advancement Initiative, which includes a Career Roadmap; the Women Leaders Job Link; Candidate List; opportunities to network at regional Happy Hours and Power Hours; and online and virtual leadership tips and programming.

The three winners of the new scholarship will be determined by a subcommittee of the Women Leaders in College Sports board.

"I am pleased about the strategic priority of the Board to offer scholarships for membership and convention registrations to women leaders at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)," says Jacqie McWilliams, commissioner of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and Women Leaders in College Sports board member. "Our hope is that there will be increased participation and a greater presence of women leaders from HBCUs who will bring great value to this amazing organization for all women."

The HBCU scholarship program is part of Women Leaders’ larger Women of Color Initiative, which addresses the needs and barriers women of color experience in relation to access, advancement, and retention in collegiate athletics. The initiative provides a platform for Women Leaders members to connect, address issues specific to women of color, and advocate for one another.

"We are very excited, as an organization, to expand our Women of Color initiative," says Patti Phillips, CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports. "With this scholarship program, we’ll be creating additional opportunities for the talented women at HBCUs advance in their careers."

Components of this Women of Color Initiative include the Women Leaders mentoring program; quarterly Women of Color leadership chats; and collaboration with the NCAA Office of Inclusion to guarantee a diverse speaker pool for all Women Leaders educational programming. In 2016, for instance, the Office of Inclusion provided funds to Women Leaders to provide IAA registrations for four women who were current members and employed at HBCUs; and at the 2016 National Rally in Kansas City, Women Leaders hosted 20 women of color speakers and granted 18 scholarships to women of color. The HBCU Scholarship Program is an extension of this partnership with the Office of Inclusion.

To apply for the Women Leaders HBCU scholarship program, click here.

Or, to apply Women Leaders Women of Color National Convention Registration scholarship, click here.

To donate to the Women Leaders Foundation Fund, which helps fund the organization’s various scholarship programs, click here.
About the Women Leaders National Convention

The Women Leaders National Convention is the premier conference for women working in intercollegiate athletics. Attended by athletics directors, conference commissioners, coaches, administrators, and staff from all divisions of intercollegiate athletics, this annual gathering provides three days of unparalleled education, leadership training and networking. The 2017 event will be held October 8-10 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel.

About Women Leaders in College Sports

Founded in 1979, Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA; is the only nationally recognized collegiate professional membership organization whose mission is to develop, connect, and advance women leaders working in intercollegiate athletics. More than 3,500 members strong, Women Leaders promotes the growth, leadership, and success of women as athletics administrators, conference commissioners, professional staff, coaches, and student-athletes. 

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