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Secure Your Spot for New Orleans Athletics EmpowHer Brunch with Gayle Benson on August 27

NEW ORLEANS – Secure your spot now for the inaugural event of the EmpowHer Privateers initiative launched by the University of New Orleans athletic department, set for Friday, August 27 at 11:30 AM CT at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown New Orleans. New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner/Chairman Gayle Benson will be the keynote speaker at the brunch event intended to garner support and awareness for the new mission of Privateer Athletics.

EmpowHer Privateers is an initiative of New Orleans Athletics to develop women leaders through intercollegiate athletics. The initiative aims to empower women student-athletes through scholarships, establish mentorships to positively impact them now and after graduation, and create dynamic experiences as they travel throughout our country and abroad.

“EmpowHer Privateers is an initiative that excites me to no end,” said Tim Duncan, Vice President of Athletics and Recreation at the University of New Orleans. “Our Athletics staff and outstanding volunteer committee have developed a masterful plan to literally EmpowHer our talented and well-deserved female student-athletes. The August brunch event will publicly kick off the initiative and its reach will be felt year-around through each of its three critical phases: fully funding female student-athlete scholarships, establishing intentional mentorships to positively impact leadership skills, and creating dynamic educational experiences as they travel throughout our country and abroad.”

“To have Mrs. Benson speak at the inaugural EmpowHer Privateers brunch is simply incredible,” added Duncan. “As the iconic leader of the most passionate fan base in professional sports, the Saints and Pelicans, we are very fortunate to have her take an active role in promoting our women’s sports programs, coaches and student-athletes. I would like to publicly thank Mrs. Benson and The Cheek Law Firm for supporting our Privateer teams and look forward to their support August 27 and beyond!”

The inaugural brunch event will run from 11:30 AM to approximately 1:30 PM on August 27 and is presented by The Cheek Law Firm. The address for the Intercontinental New Orleans is 444 St. Charles Avenue in the New Orleans CBD.

Sponsorship for the event starts at $1,500 for the Courageous Sponsor level (receive one table of eight for the brunch event, named listed on event programs), $5,000 for the Bold Sponsor level (name listed on all event promotion and signage, print invitations, e-invites and event programs to go with logo on, inclusion in press releases, one table of eight at the brunch, two invitations to the VIP Patron Party and four tickets with VIP hospitality and parking for a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader of your choice) and $10,000 for Limitless Sponsor (includes Bold Sponsor package to go with two tables of eight at the brunch event with an option to sit with VIPs and/or an UNO coach or student-athletes, and more sponsorship options throughout the season along with four tickets with VIP hospitality and parking for a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader of your choice).

A full description of each scholarship level can be found here (PDF).

“As a former student-athlete, I know firsthand how important sports can be to a young person’s development in all facets of their lives,” said Dr. Stacy Nicklow. “In particular, female athletes will benefit from more opportunities for developing leadership skills, more access to mentoring with community leaders, and more cultural experiences to supplement their regular coursework. The EmpowHer Privateers initiative is a positive step in helping our female student-athletes reach their full potential as professionals and leaders.”

EmpowHer Privateers Committee members include Dr. Stacy Nicklow, Committee Chair and wife of University President, Dr. John NicklowKim Boyle, Partner, Phelps Dunbar and Board Member, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation; Jamila Brown, Founder, Investor, FHL Investments; Rana Cabeceiras, Privateer Baseball Student-Athlete Parent; Lindsey Cheek, Founding Attorney, Cheek Law Firm; Dr. Michelle Douglas ’90, Founding CEO, Hynes Charter School; Jennifer Hyde ’04, Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual; Dr. Kathy Keene ’98, Deputy Commissioner, Sun Belt Conference; Rachel Massey, AVP for External Engagement and University Events; Cyndi Nguyen, Council Member District E, City of New OrleansJulie Stokes ’92, Former State Representative and President & CEO, Flame Consulting; and Pearlina Thomas, CAO, Capital Area Transit.

The mission of New Orleans Athletics is to produce leaders who Achieve Academic Excellence, Win Championships and Serve the University and the Greater New Orleans community with pride and humility. Its values include integrity, accountability, teamwork, transparency, grit, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. The department is led by Tim Duncan, University Vice President of Athletics and Recreation.    

For more information on EmpowHer Privateers or New Orleans Athletics, contact Kelvin Queliz, Assistant Athletic Director, at or (504) 280-6284 or visit:


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