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Sarah Thomas: First Woman NFL Official

Trailblazing National Football League official Sarah Thomas will examine her career journey during the next installment of Purdue University Fort Wayne’s Omnibus Speaker Series on March 26. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in Auer Performance Hall.

Tickets to see “Breaking Through: My Journey to Becoming the First Female NFL Official” are now available. They are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis through the Schatzlein Box Office or PFW’s online ticketing platform. A $1.50 convenience charge is assessed per ticket for online orders, with a limit of four tickets per person.

After starting her football officiating career in 1996 by attending a meeting with her brother, Sarah Thomas reached the National Football League in 2015. She spent 10 years working various levels of youth football including high school, middle school, and junior varsity before being hired by Conference USA in 2007, becoming the first female official in major college football. Thomas has officiated numerous bowl, championship, and all-star games.

Thomas recently completed her ninth season in the NFL. She became the first female official to work a playoff game in 2019, and has received a postseason assignment every year since, reaching the pinnacle in 2021 when she worked Super Bowl LV in Tampa. Florida.

Off the field, Thomas is a marketing specialist and a graduate of the University of Mobile where she was a basketball player and received academic all-America honors. She was also named one of Sports Illustrated’s 100 Most Influential Figures of all time and is the mother of three children.

For anyone wanting to acquire tickets to the show in person, box office hours are from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday-Friday.

Reserved online tickets can be sent to patrons via text message or email. These digital options are helpful to avoid standing at the box office the night of the show. Tickets can also be picked up in person beginning one hour before the presentation.

The Omnibus Speaker Series at Purdue Fort Wayne is made possible in part due to the support of the English-Bonter-Mitchell Foundation, which has sponsored every season since the series launched in 1995.

For more information on the other 2023-24 speakers – and the series itself – visit PFW.edu/omnibus.

The Waynedale News Staff
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