Centre to host women’s leadership conference

Published 12:10 pm Friday, February 10, 2023

Centre College will host its inaugural Women’s Leadership Conference on March 10 and 11, providing alumni, students and campus community members the opportunity to hear from Centre alumni and faculty in empowering and engaging conversation.

United States Soccer Federation President Cindy Parlow Cone, the first woman to hold that role, will be the keynote speaker at the conference.

A two-time Olympic gold medal winner in her playing days, Cone was a standout for the U.S. Women’s National Team during a career that spanned 1996-2004. She was elected vice president of U.S. Soccer in 2019 and assumed the role of president in 2020. During her keynote address, Cone will discuss how lessons from the field helped her lead U.S. Soccer through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, DEI transformation, and a historic collective bargaining agreement achieving equal pay for the Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Teams.   

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The conference is open to the public and all Centre students are invited to participate. Registration and agenda details can be found here, including information on early-bird registration, which is free for students before Feb. 9.

“For current students, we wanted to provide a way to connect them with alumnae,” said organizer and Director of Alumni and Family Engagement Megan Haake Milby ’03. “With the programming that we have, we’ve made every effort to have both lectures and panels to demonstrate to students, ‘These are the women who came before you, this is what you can do with your Centre education.’”

The leaders participating in an array of scheduled panels will be involved in programming throughout the weekend, providing unique networking opportunities, Milby said.

A luncheon on Saturday, March 11 will feature a discussion with “Centre Trailblazers” — women from the fields of business, government, tech, law and finance sharing experiences and discussing their career-defining moments.

The Centre Alumni Office has partnered with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to bring breakout sessions featuring Centre faculty and staff to the conference. A full list of events can be found on the alumni website.

Another partnership with the Norton Center for the Arts will allow participants to attend a public performance by Kathy Mattea and Suzy Bogguss at a special price.

“I think this will be a wonderful campus-wide event,” Milby said. “Our alumnae are excited, and we hope this inaugural event becomes an annual tradition at Centre College.”

Full list of conference panelists:

Centre Trailblazers: A Panel Discussion

Anita Britton ‘76

Crit Blackburn Luallen ‘74

Elaine Allen McReynolds ‘70

Peggy Purdom Patterson ‘72

Suzanne Wells Miell ’81

STEM: Mentoring the Next Generation of Leaders

Sheila Botts ‘89

Lucy Wachs Pauly ‘05

Lindsay Ragsdale ‘00

Vanessa Song ‘09

The Legacy of Title IX: Centre Leaders in Athletics

Molly Alvey ‘01

Destinie Graves ‘17

Cheryl Hart ‘93

Gina Nicoletti-Bellinger, Assistant Director of Athletics

Maggie Ray ‘05

Valarie Ziegler ‘76

Break the Mold: Women in Business, Finance, Journalism, and Law

Wijdan Jreisat ‘91

Lara McCoy ‘00

Erin Menard Spalding ‘09

Taylor Harrison Teeters ‘16

Matisa Olinger Wilbon ‘97