Flashback to 1984: Marjorie Herrera Lewis was new to the big city of Fort Worth and had just gotten her first big newspaper job at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
As a new beat reporter, she was assigned Texas Wesleyan’s basketball teams and was determined to sink her teeth into sports media.
“It was my first large, big-city newspaper and being a female reporter was new to the area,” Lewis said, “so I felt like Texas Wesleyan really treated me well.”
Texas Wesleyan and the Star-Telegram were Lewis’s beginnings, so after having after developed a successful career in sports media, she wanted to give back.
“When I got a little older and had a couple of pennies put away, I decided I wanted to thank the Star-Telegram for giving me that opportunity to be a sports writer and I wanted to thank Texas Wesleyan University for treating me so well, when I was cutting my teeth into sports writing,” Lewis said. “I made the donation for both reasons.”
From that donation several years ago the Marjorie Herrera Lewis Speaker Series developed.
The third MHL Speaker Series event is Tuesday: “A New Ballgame: Women In Sports Media” will feature Dallas Cowboys sideline reporter Kristi Scales.
The speech will be free at Nicholas Martin Hall at 12:15 p.m. and a luncheon will be at Lou’s Place afterward; admission to the speech is free.
The event is in collaboration with the Goostree Women’s Symposium; Scales is the first woman speaker in the MHL series, and veteran sports anchor Scott Murray will be the master of ceremonies.
“We’re thrilled to finally get the first woman speaker and joining it with the women’s symposium we couldn’t be happier,” Lewis said. “It’s terrific.”
Lewis said joining with Goostree “creates a great synergy that I think is fantastic. I think that the university’s decision to combine them was brilliant.”
Lewis hopes to find out Scales’ story since they both are pioneers for women in sport’s media.
“I think she’s going to be really interesting and I’m hoping she’s going to get some really good questions,” said Lewis, who covered the Cowboys for the Star-Telegram for several years. “I don’t know her personal story so I don’t know her career trajectory or how long she wants to be in the business. I want to find out a lot myself and I think she’s an excellent choice.”
Lewis has always been interested in sports and writing so she knew what her career would be from a young age.
“I grew up in a very sports oriented family in Santa Fe, New Mexico,” Lewis said. “My parents are both sports fanatics so they both passed it on to their kids. I guess I kind of enjoyed it more than the others since I’m the only one that followed in this path.”
Lewis now teaches journalism at the University of North Texas; this fall she will be an assistant coach for the Texas Wesleyan football team.
“She has a history in football and has been around the game forever,” said Joe Prud’homme, Texas Wesleyan’s head football coach. “She’s covered it and I’ve known her for quite a while. I just felt like it was definitely worth the opportunity to see what she can bring to the program.”
Joe Trahan, the Cowboys’ media relations and corporate communications coordinator, said Scales really knows football.
“I think she’s just so football savvy and incredibly smart about the game,” said Trahan, who met Scales when he was a Cowboys intern. “Every time I listen to her or just as she comes by and talks to me she’ll have all these interesting nuggets of information.”
Trahan said he’s never seen Scales have a bad day and she’s always professional and pleasant to be around.
“She’s always been a pro and she’s always got a positive energy to her,” Trahan said. “She loves the game of football and she loves the Dallas Cowboys and she does a great job of always projecting that. It always feels like you’re in good company around her.”
Trahan feels she’s an excellent choice to be a speaker.
“She wasn’t looked at just as a woman but instead as a professional,” Trahan said. “I think (Texas Wesleyan’s) getting a quality speaker, but an even better person and a trailblazer.”
Although Scales and several others have pioneered women in sports media, Lewis feels women should be further along.
“We’ve made great strides and woman are in a lot of areas of sports, but it’s amazing to me when I go out into public and people find out what I’ve done and people are still surprised by that,” Lewis said. “I think by 2017 it shouldn’t be a surprise. I hope that women who want to do it, do it and that there are a lot that would find this career to be rewarding because it is.”