2005 to 2006 – National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators

Over Jean Lenti Ponsetto’s tenure as president, she challenged members to “Make Change Happen,” the 2006 National Convention theme, and emphasized the importance of building on the organization’s foundation.

In the words of Jean: “I continue to be in awe of the founding women of our organization who stood in the face of adversity, were thoughtful, vigilant and convincing in their cause, and paved the way for future generations to come. We enjoy so much today our profession because of their tireless dedication to women in our profession, women in higher education and women of every walk,” (NACWAA Spring Issue 2006).

Jean encouraged members to help the continued growth of the organization by becoming more women involved in NACWAA and teaching the up-and-comers about both the industry and Title IX. “We must be tireless in our efforts to educate future generations” (NACWAA Fall Issue 2005). 

“Women helping other women by participating as active NACWAA members is a legacy we should all take great pride in. The strength of our numbers, strategically and politically, will be the measure of our future voice in our profession and on issues that affect women nationally in the years to come,” (Spring Issue 2006).

Other major accomplishments from NACWAA during this time:

  • The Legacy Gift program donor list grew to 21; over $750,000 committed to the future of NACWAA
  • Record of 136 institutional memberships, including 18 new memberships
  • Actively participating in the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Committee and the Life Work Balance Task Force
  • Record 400 members attended the 27th Annual National Convention in Sacramento
  • Over $45,000 raised at the Awesome Auction for Foundation Fund scholarships

NACWAA continued to be committed to recognizing the achievements and successes of administrators working in athletics. Click here to view all NACWAA/ Women Leaders in College Sports award winners.

NACWAA Board Members 2005-06

Kim Allen, Smith College
Jennifer Alley, Ex-Officio, NACWAA
Susan Bassett, Carnegie Mellon University
Tina Cheatham, Southland Conference
Dr. Joni Comstock, American University
Joan Cronan, President-Elect, University of Tennessee
Alfreeda Goff, Past President, Horizon League
Dr. Christine Hoyles, Pacific-10 Conference
Roxanne Levenson, Pepperdine University
Monique “Toni” Morgan, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Carol Reep, NCAA
Judy Sweet, Ex-Officio, NCAA
Kathy Turpin, Barry University
Brenda Weare, Conference USA
Dr. Carla Williams, University of Georgia

NACWAA President: 2005 - 2006

Jean Lenti Ponsetto
DePaul University

Jean Lenti Ponsetto has served as DePaul’s Director of Athletics since 2002 and has been a part of the Blue Demon athletic family since 1995. Over her tenure at DePaul, Jean has been a renowned trailblazer in the continued expansion and development of the Blue Demon athletic program. Under her leadership, she has played a critical role in the University’s transition to joining the Big East Conference in 2005. 

Jean instituted and lead the Sullivan-McGrath Athletics Capital Campaign, which funded the Wish Soccer Field, the Cherry Family Indoor Track renovations, and the Cacciatore Stadium. The Blue Demon athletic program has seen 14 of their 15 varsity teams represented in NCAA championships. During Jean’s tenure, over 1,300 student-athletes have earned conference academic honor roll. 

Jean has served in multiple roles for the NCAA, including her selection as Vice Chair for the NCAA Council, Chair of the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee, and a member of the NCAA Division I Budget Committee. She has been honored in recognition of her impact by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Administrator of the Year in 1998 and the Spirit of DePaul Award in 1999.

World News

Violet Palmer
Violet Palmer

Violet Palmer was the first woman to officiate an NBA playoff game as the Indiana Pacers faced the New Jersey Nets on April 25th of 2006. Violet officiated her first Division l women’s basketball game in 1991 and was reffing the Women’s Final Four by 1994. Palmer began training as an official for the NBA in 1995 and officiated the WNBA championship during the association’s inaugural season. That same year, she broke the NBA’s gender barrier by becoming the first woman to referee an NBA game. 

She went on to successfully officiate 919 NBA games before retiring in 2016 as she transitioned to overseeing and coordinating officials for the Pac-12, the WCC, and the WAC.