Million-dollar gift to fund UNLV women’s sports careers initiative

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — An endowment of $1.05 million will fund career development for women in sports, according to a Wednesday news release from the UNLV Athletics Department.

The Diana Bennett Career Development Program for Women’s Sports will provide internship programming, resume building, career professional development and a variety of networking and job experience initiatives. The program is part of the “Rebel Up” Campaign, the Athletics Department said.

“These student-athletes consistently dedicate much of their energy and time during pre and post-secondary to becoming leaders in their sport,” Bennett said. “However, we see time and time again that career opportunities in the sports industry are limited for females. It is the joint goal of the Bennett Family Foundation and UNLV to ensure that these athletes have the tools and support needed to make the most of the opportunities they are given and ensure lasting careers in their field of choice, not only as athletes but also as professionals.”

Programming will start in the fall of 2024.

Bennett served as the chair of the UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees from 2020-22 and has been a board member since 2008. According to the news release, she is only the third woman to head the UNLV Foundation Board since its inception in 1981 and she created the Bennett Honors Mentor Scholarship Program in the UNLV Honors College and a scholarship in UNLV’s School of Medicine.

“Her commitment to UNLV continues to enhance and impact the lives of UNLV students while providing great leadership and mentorship for women leaders of the future,” the news release said.

“We cannot thank Diana Bennett enough for making this extraordinary commitment to enhance career opportunities for female student-athletes at UNLV as they prepare for life after sport,” Director of Athletics Erick Harper said. “Diana has long been a loyal supporter of UNLV Athletics as well as the university and we appreciate her many years of contributing to the success of our programs. This gift is the first of its kind specific to the career development of female student-athletes at UNLV. Donors like Diana Bennett continue to make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes daily and we would like to specifically thank Diana for her vision, passion, commitment and love for UNLV Athletics.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KLAS.