A free three-day virtual event featured key influencers and leaders such as Madeleine Albright, Sophia Bush, Brandi Chastain, Jessica Mendoza, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Katelyn Ohashi, Julie Foudy, Lauren Gibbs, and more

PASADENA, Calif. (September 21, 2020) – The Rose Bowl Institute hosted its second annual Women’s Empowerment Symposium on September 16th, 17th & 18th on the Institute’s virtual platform.  The free Symposium provided more than 1,100 pre-registered high school and college students exposure to top female industry leaders from finance, politics, sports, entertainment, and technology on societal and cultural topics, health, and other themes of vital interest to youth. 

The three-day symposium was free to the more than 1,100 students to watch and participate through the Rose Bowl Institute’s pre-registration and will be posted for public viewing this week on the Institute’s website and social platforms.  The Institute will also award $2500 scholarships, funded by private contributors, to students who registered for the Symposium and submitted materials after the three day program.  

Among the speakers that partcipated were former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright interviewed by Former CNN corespondent Jessica Yellin, Actress and Advocate Sophia Bush interviewed by Axios reporter Alayna Treene,  Alibaba Pictures president Wei Zhang, former UCLA gymnast whose perfect 10.0 went viral, Katelyn Ohashi, ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza, NBC TV Los Angeles anchor Beverly White, and many other celebrity, athletic and female buinesses influencers.

The Institute’s mission for the symposium was to inspire, empower and  influence the mindset of participating youth to pursue higher education and professional careers, motivating them to break barriers while setting and achieving their goals.

Each day the Symposium focused on one of the Institute’s primary themes: Sportsmanship, Leadership and Citizenship.

UCLA and WNBA basketball legend Ann Meyers Drysdale moderated the first day’s sessions on Sportsmanship, with panelists USA Women’s Soccer Team captain, Julie Foudy, and pioneering football coach Dr. Jen Welter.  They discussed “Driving Progress and Shaping the Future,” while Pasadena native, Westridge School graduate and Olympian Lauren Gibbs, former UCLA basketballer Nina Westbrook, and podcaster Kristen Jones addressed burning-out and mental health issues.

The second day highlighted Leadership with panels and speakers on “Women Solving Women’s Problems” and Striking a New Balance.  Aon Chief People Officer Lisa Stevens moderated the day’s sessions with panelists Theresa Edy-Kiene, Girl Scouts Greater Los Angeles CEO, and Lylle Breier SVP Global Marketing at Disney among others. 

On the third and final day, Sec. Albright provided remarks on “citizenship” capping the day’s contributions from other influential women in politics such as Dihann Billings-Burford, CEO of RISE and Kathryn Barger, President of the Los Angeles County Supervisors.

“Using the iconic Rose Bowl’s digital footprint this year, the Women’s Empowerment Symposium connects young women students with civic and business leaders, athletes, sportscasters, journalists and other leading thinkers to highlight how sports values can positively impact their lives,“ said Charlie Firestone, president of the Rose Bowl Institute.

The Rose Bowl Institute, an arm of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, champions sportsmanship and aims to “leverage the power of sports to unite people everywhere.” 

In an effort to propel equal opportunity for women in the academic and corporate industries the Rose Bowl Institute offered scholarship opportunities to young ambitious female leaders. At the conclusion of the three- day symposium, participants could apply for one of five $2,500 scholarships generously gifted to the Rose Bowl Institute.

Additionally, after hearing from inspiring and empowering women over the three days, the Rose Bowl Institute announced its partnership with the Christina Mauser Foundation to honor the spirit and legacy of Christina Mauser in 2021 with the Christina Mauser Scholarship Award. Please be sure to continue to follow us for more information.

This three day program is now available to the public to watch on the Rose Bowl Institute’s website and on the Rose Bowl Institute and Rose Bowl Stadium’s YouTube.

For more information about  the Rose Bowl Institute Women’s Empowerment Symposium please email or visit

Rose Bowl Institute Advisory Board

  • Maurice Ashley – International Grandmaster, inductee of US Chess Hall of Fame, founder of Harlem Chess Center, author and commentator. (New York, NY)
  • Tim Brant – 30-year broadcast veteran; 2013 Broadcaster of the Year; former broadcast partner of Keith Jackson (Chevy Chase, MD)
  • Brandi Chastain – two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, two-time Olympic gold-medalist, coach, and sports broadcaster. (San Jose, CA)
  • Kevin Clifford – retired Chairman and CEO of American Funds Group; Board Member of College Football Hall of Fame and United States Olympic and Paralympic Foundation.  (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Ann Meyers Drysdale – UCLA basketball star, first female sports scholarship recipient at UCLA, Basketball Hall of Famer, broadcaster, and sports executive; considered one of the top five female athletes of all time (Huntington Beach, CA)
  • Tom Farrey – Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program; author of Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of our Children; former writer for ESPN (San
  • Clemente, CA)
  • Julie Foudy – former captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team with a 17-year career from 1987-2004; won two FIFA Women’s World Cup titles and three Olympic medals; member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame; four-time All-American at Stanford; commentator for ESPN Soccer and ESPNw
  • (Orange County, CA)
  • Dan Fouts – 15-years as quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, Pro Football Hall of Fame; 1979 AFL Most Valuable Player (AP); broadcast analyst (Sisters, Oregon)
  • Lauren Gibbs – 2x Olympic Medalist (bobsled), public speaker, team captain and All-Ivy volleyball player at Brown University. (Denver, CO)
  • Robin Harris — Executive Director of the Ivy League Council of Presidents (Princeton, NJ)
  • Henry Hernandez – President, Inter-Con Security Systems; Board Member, Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Cobi Jones – 3x World Cup participant; Olympian; National Soccer Hall of Fame Inductee; first jersey retired in MLS history; all-time leader for Team USA in caps; analyst for Fox Sports and the LA Galaxy’s analyst for Spectrum Sportsnet (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Billie Jean King – Sports icon and equality champion (New York, NY)
  • Angela LaChica – President and CEO, LaChica Sports (San Diego, CA)
  • Ronnie Lott – Pro Football and College Football Hall of Famer; 4x Super Bowl Champion; 2x Rose Bowl Game Champion (Bay Area, CA)
  • Patrick McCaskey – Vice President, Board Member and part owner, Chicago Bears.  Chairman of Sports Faith International; author. (Lake Forest, IL)
  • Jessica Mendoza – ESPN analyst, first woman to serve as a baseball analyst for nationally-televised MLB games: Olympic Gold and Silver Medalist; USA Softball Athlete of the Year, 2006; member of the National Softball Hall of Fame; 4x All-American at Stanford (New York, NY)
  • Katelyn Ohashi – former UCLA gymnast, known for viral 2019 video of her perfect 10 performance; 6x All-American; 4x member of USA Gymnastics’ Junior National Team; 2011 junior national champion and the winner of the 2013 American Cup.
  • Larry Paul – Managing Principal of Laurel Crown Partners; minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers; member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Advisory Board (Los Angeles, CA)
  • John Sciarra– 1976 Rose Bowl Game MVP for UCLA; played for Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL and in the Canadian Football League; business entrepreneur (Newport Beach, CA)
  • Mark Shuster- President and CEO, Shuster Financial Group; founding donor, Rose Bowl Institute (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Bob Sutcliffe — venture lawyer, business advisor, and Managing Director of Craftsman Capital Advisors LLC.  Authored the original concept and vision memo for creation of the Rose Bowl Institute. (Pasadena, CA)
  • Matthew Sign – Chief Operating Officer, National Football Foundation (Fort Worth, TX)
  • Maria Taylor – ESPN host and reporter; host, NBA Countdown; former intercollegiate student-athlete (Atlanta, GA)
  • Dick Vermeil –Super Bowl winning coach; former NFL coach of the Eagles, Rams and Chiefs; coached UCLA to the 1976 Rose Bowl Game victory in an upset of Ohio State (Doylestown, PA)
  • J.C. Watts – President of Black News Channel, former U.S. Congressman (R-OK) (1995-2003); gridiron star as a quarterback at the University of Oklahoma; first African American elected to statewide office in Oklahoma (Eufaula, OK)
  • Jen Welter – first female coach in the NFL
  • Jason Whitlock – Sports journalist and media personality with Outkick the Coverage; sportswriter for the Kansas City Star from 1994-2010 before stops at ESPN and Fox Sports. (Los Angeles, CA and Nashville, TN)
  • Marcellus Wiley – Host of ‘Speak for Yourself’, retired NFL All-Pro, Ivy League Hall of Fame (Columbia University), Author of the book ‘Never Shut Up’
  • Vince Young – Two-time Rose Bowl Game MVP, Heisman Trophy Runner-Up, National Champion University of Texas, Former NFL All-Pro Player and College Football Hall of Fame.

About the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation

Formed in 2010, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)3, tax-exempt organization whose primary goal is to financially ensure the protection, preservation and enhancement of the future of the Stadium as a National Historic Landmark. The Foundation has established funding for key capital improvement initiatives, educational programming and heritage protection due to the generosity of supporters from around the world who are invested in its premier future. 

About the Rose Bowl Stadium

The Rose Bowl Stadium is the proud home of the Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Game, UCLA Bruins football, AmericaFest Fourth of July Celebration, concerts including Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, Taylor Swift and U2, international and Premier League soccer matches and the World’s Largest Flea Market.

A National Historic Landmark built in 1922 and known around the world, the Rose Bowl Stadium has earned its world class reputation by hosting five NFL Super Bowl games, the 1984 Olympic Soccer matches, the 1994 Men’s World Cup, the 1999 Women’s World Cup, four BCS National College Football Championship Games and the College Football Playoff Semi-Final game.