Board of Directors
Jean Lenti Ponsetto
Jean Lenti Ponsetto retired from an illustrious 42-year career at DePaul University as a widely respected leader in intercollegiate athletics. She began as an assistant women’s basketball coach and head softball coach, excelling in four sports as a student-athlete. Transitioning to athletics administration in 1982, she eventually became the Director of Athletics in 2002.
During Ponsetto’s tenure, DePaul’s athletic programs achieved remarkable success with 58 NCAA team championships and 154 NCAA individual championships appearances. Notably, the women’s basketball program made 17 consecutive NCAA appearances, and the softball program reached the Women’s College World Series twice. Ponsetto prioritized student-athlete academic success, leading to 80 NCAA APR Awards and 34 Academic All Americans, with a collective CUM GPA above 3.5.
Ponsetto was instrumental in fundraising and overseeing the development of nine athletic facilities, including Wintrust Arena, Sullivan Athletic Center, and Wish Soccer Field. She collaborated on projects for men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, indoor track, soccer, softball, tennis, and golf. Additionally, 54 new scholarships were added for student-athletes, and revenue records were set while reducing the University’s subsidy to Athletics by 50%.
Her contributions extended beyond DePaul, with 62 years of service to the intercollegiate athletics community. Notably, she served as Chairperson of the NCAA Championships Cabinet, the NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball Committee, and other leadership roles.
Ponsetto received numerous awards for her work, including two NACDA Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Awards, Women Leaders in College Sports Administrator of the Year Award, NACDA Builders Award, and WBCA Administrator of the Year Award.
A member of several halls of fame, including the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, Ponsetto was recognized as one of the top 100 most influential women in Chicago by the Chicago Sun-Times. She also received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was named an Affiliate of the Congregation of the Mission for her longstanding commitment to the Vincentian Community.
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