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May 4, 2007

WNBA President Donna Orender to Receive Honorary Degree from Adelphi University

Donna Orender

Donna Orender

Donna Orender, president of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from Adelphi University at the 111th Commencement on Monday, May 21, 2007. The ceremony will begin at 10:00 AM in the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike, Uniondale, NY.

Prior to joining the WNBA, Ms. Orender spent more than 17 years with the PGA Tour, serving most recently as senior vice president of strategic development in the Office of the Commissioner. She was responsible for the development and management of PGA Tour strategic directions across all business lines, including the oversight of new media, Internet, advertising, brand management, and marketing support services. Prior to her appointment as senior vice president, she also managed the Tour’s worldwide television and production business for nine years.

Ms. Orender began her television production career at ABC Sports and continued at SportsChannel. She was the first producer for “Inside the PGA Tour” and owned her own company, Primo Donna Productions. She was featured in the Sporting News’s annual “Power List” in 2005, in addition to’s “Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports” list. In March 2006, she became the first woman to be honored by the UJS-Federation of New York’s Entertainment, Media and Communication Division.

As accomplished as she is in her field, Ms. Orender devotes an extraordinary amount of time to serving the community. She is on the boards of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, Inc., the Jacksonville Film and Television Advisory Council, the University of North Florida College of Arts and Science Advisory Council, and Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel. She has also served as the co-chair for the USA Women’s Basketball team for the 16th Maccabiah Games in Israel. Under the name of Donna Geils, she went on to become an All-Star in the Women’s Basketball League (WBL). During her three seasons in the WBL, she played for the New York Stars, New Jersey Gems, and Chicago Hustle.

Ms.Orender grew up on Long Island and was an All-American basketball player at Queens College, where she graduated with a degree in psychology. She did graduate studies in social work at Adelphi University.

Adelphi University will confirm more than 2,400 graduates at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels at its Commencement. Congressman John Lewis will deliver the Commencement Address. Also receiving honorary degrees are Congressman Lewis; Judith Borten ’57, co-founder and board member of TransCen, and William Borten ’57, former Adelphi University Trustee and president and CEO of Atlantic Research Corporation; and Cecil Watkins ’75, M.A. ’86, governor and boys basketball chairman of New York Metropolitan Amateur Athletic Union, and president and CEO of National Pro-Am City Leagues.  Dr. Robert Moldwin ’80 will be presented with the Ruth S. Harley Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

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About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online. 

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
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