University of Minnesota

Distinguished Lecture Series

The Borghild-Strand Distinguished Lecture series is given twice yearly and exemplifies the Tucker Center’s commitment to community outreach and public education by making links to the Twin Cities metro and outstate areas. It provides a venue for the most influential individuals in women’s sports to share their knowledge and expertise. The Spring lecture is also sponsored through the Edith Mueller Park and Recreation Memorial Award.

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2016 Spring Distinguished Lecture

Lessons on Leadership:
Building Champions in Women’s Sports


Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 7:00-9:00pm
Cowles Auditorium, Hubert H. Humphrey Center
University of Minnesota West Bank Campus

About the Conversation: Dynamic. Forceful. Grace under pressure. Confident in oneself and possessing the ability to inspire confidence in others. These are key characteristics that define great leaders. They are also attributes synonymous with great athletes, and one reason why we believe that sport builds leaders. Until recently that meant male leaders. In the wake of Title IX and the explosion of women’s sports participation, that belief has been challenged. One highly visible and successful arena where women’s leadership is on display is in the WNBA. These highly accomplished leaders shared their personal stories and experiences, their insights and strategies on what it takes to build leaders—and champions—not only in sports but in life.

About the Panelists

Lindsay Whalen: A native of Hutchinson, Minnesota, Whalen led the U of M women’s basketball program to national prominence during her career. She is the first Golden Gopher to earn All-America honors in three different seasons and lead the U of M to its first-ever Final Four appearance. She’s a two-time Wade Trophy and Naismith Award finalist and a unanimous selection for All-Big Ten First Team in 2002-04. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten, Whalen’s jersey was retired in 2005. She began her pro career in the WNBA as a first-round pick in 2004, and in 2011, returned to Minnesota where she helped lead the Lynx to three WNBA titles. Whalen is only the second player in WNBA history to record 4,000 points, 1,500 assists and 1,000 rebounds. She won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and a FIBA World Championship in Turkey in 2014.

Cheryl Reeve attended La Salle University where she led her basketball team to a national ranking and was selected All-Metro Atlantic Conference and All-Big 5 during her senior year. Her coaching resume includes 27 years as an assistant and head coach at the collegiate and WNBA levels, including stints at Indiana State, George Washington University, the Charlotte Sting and Detroit Shock. Lynx head coach since 2010, Reeve has guided the team to three WNBA titles, and amassed an overall record of 141-64, the most wins in franchise history and the highest winning percentage in the WNBA. Named the WNBA Coach of the Year in 2011, Reeve served as assistant head coach when the U.S. women captured gold at the Summer Olympics in 2012. Reeve has also excelled academically. As an undergraduate at La Salle, she was a Rhodes Scholar nominee and received an NCAA Post-graduate Scholarship to pursue her Master’s degree in management information systems.

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Previous lectures

Our Distinguished Lecture archive is available here. The archive includes abstracts, multimedia assets, powerpoints, and related materials.