Cardinals Create 'Adele Harris Scholarship' to Honor NFL's First Black Female Executive

Graduating high-school students in Arizona can now apply to the scholarship in the name of Adele Harris.
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Fifty years ago, Adele Harris, the first Black female to be a team executive in NFL history, was hired by the then-St. Louis Cardinals. 

On Wednesday, the Cardinals announced that to honor this achievement and promote future leaders in sports, they have started the "Adele Harris Scholarship."

This annual scholarship will award $10,000 to a graduating high-school student in Arizona looking to pursue an undergraduate degree and find a career in sports. 

Payment will go directly to the institution and cover tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, and/or board, per the team's website. 

Photo supplied by the Arizona Cardinals

“This scholarship serves two main purposes,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a press release. “It recognizes the valuable role that Adele played within our organization for more than a quarter of a century and also connects her to future generations who aspire to follow in her footsteps. We are grateful for the opportunity to do both of those things.”

Harris spent 26 years with the St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals in multiple roles, including Director of Community Relations. In this role, she was a primary player in the creation of the Cardinals Charities in 1990, which helped the franchise's community efforts after relocating to the Valley. 

She also helped set up the Arizona NFL Youth Education Town (YET) center in South Phoenix in 1998, which works as a recreational and educational facility for kids to participate in after-school activities and other programs.

Harris retired in 2001, then passed away at the age of 65 in 2007. 

Students can apply for the scholarship at To qualify, students need to have been accepted to an accredited two-year or four-year college or university in the United States. 

They will also need to be studying for one of the following degrees: Broadcasting/Journalism, Coaching, Facility/Event Management, Finance, Marketing/Communications, Sports Analytics, Sports Media/ Public Relations, Sports Medicine/Nutrition or Sports Psychology.

The final day to apply is June 30, 2021.