Tickets available Sept. 10 for Sarah Thomas

First female NFL referee to kick off the 2018-19 Featured Speakers Series.

Sarah Thomas changed the game in the world’s most quintessential male-dominated sport — football — when she became the first female NFL referee. Now, she’s inspiring others to dream big and believe anything is possible.

Thomas kicks off the 2018-19 Featured Speakers Series on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Now in its 28th year, the event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and limited to two per person. 

Tickets for Thomas’ presentation are available beginning at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at the Main Hall information desk. Tickets will remain available, while supplies last, during regular business hours 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. 

Since Thomas’ addition to the NFL’s roster of referees, she has become a pioneering inspiration to people everywhere, embodying the notion that with a belief in self, hard work and preparation, no barrier or ceiling is impenetrable.

Thomas will provide key insights on overcoming adversity – and the odds – finding your passion while maintaining work-life balance and not only succeeding as a female in a male-dominated industry, but achieving breakthrough success for men and women alike.

Thomas leads the season’s lineup, which includes Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino on Nov. 14, civil rights activist Mary Frances Berry on Feb. 26, and bestselling author Nicholas Sparks on April 17. 

Programs are held in Timken Great Hall at the Kent State University at Stark Conference Center. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.; presentations begin at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit

POSTED: Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 10:44am
UPDATED: Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 10:44am
Melissa Griffy Seeton