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Athletics Department Celebrates Day of Giving and Heart of a Lion Award

There are two big events on the Athletics Department calendar this week: the Emerson Athletics Day of Giving is March 30-31, and the bestowment of the Heart of a Lion Award.

Maude Okrah with Stan Nance, Senior Associate Director of Athletic
Maude Okrah ’09 with Stan Nance, Senior Associate Director of Athletic.

Okrah First Woman to Receive Heart of a Lion Award

During an event celebrating 50 years of Title IX on March 25, former women’s basketball player Maude Okrah ’09 was honored as the recipient of the 2023 Heart of a Lion Award.

During her time at Emerson, Okrah ’09 starred on the women’s basketball team, was an Undergraduate Admission Visitor Center tour guide, Student Government Association vice president, a resident assistant, and received the President’s Award honoring an outstanding senior who made great contributions to the Emerson community.

Berkeley Beacon newspaper clipping of Maude Okrah dribbling a basketball
(Berkeley Beacon image from Emerson Archives and Special Collections)

After Emerson, Okrah worked in strategy and global business development for more than 12 years with Shell Energy International, including working in their London office on alternative energy.

She left Shell to start Bonnti, Inc. a beauty tech company focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in beauty, including serving as president for their primary brand, Black Beauty Roster (BBR), a digital diversity and inclusion platform connecting the television/film and editorial world with diverse hair and makeup talent working with industry-leading companies such as Warner Brothers Discovery, Amazon, Disney, L’Oreal, and more.

Okrah has been featured in numerous publications and websites, including Forbes, Inc, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Allure, and Inside. She received the Women’s Ceiling Crashers Award from AT&T, and has been appointed by the mayor of Washington, DC as head of the city’s Commission on Fashion, Arts and Events.

Okrah joins a rare club with the four other Heart of a Lion Award winners:

Help Support Emerson Student-Athletes

A poster of Emerson athletes for Athletics Day of Giving

Community members can help support Emerson student-athletes during the second annual Athletics Day of Giving, March 30-31.

Donations and gifts will directly help and assist student-athletes. Donations can go to the Lions Fund, the Athletic Trust Fund, or a specific program.

“These donations will help us provide fan buses to games when our sports teams participate in NEWMAC Championships, meal money for early arrival varsity sports student-athletes that have to eat, practice and play games before classes begin, and recruiting dollars for our coaches to fly across the county to evaluate that young men and women prospective student for there varsity sports program,” said Stanford Nance, Interim Associate Dean for Campus Life & Director of Athletics.

Donations can be provided online at anytime by visiting Emerson’s Give Campus page.

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