Skip to main content Skip to footer

October 23, 2019

SVSU alumna joins NBA as sixth female referee in league history

A Saginaw Valley State University alumna's passion for basketball helped her land a role as the sixth female referee hired in NBA history.

Jenna Schroeder, a Clio native who received a bachelor’s degree in communications from SVSU in 2009, was hired by the NBA after years spent refereeing college, the WNBA and the NBA developmental league known as the G League.

“I was shocked by the timing of it,” Schroeder told the Associated Press. “But I was obviously hoping this was my year. Nobody’s ever truly ready, but I’m as ready as I can be.”

She is scheduled to referee her first regular season NBA game tonight — Wednesday, Oct. 23 — when the New York Knicks travel to play the San Antonio Spurs in Texas. The game tips off at 8:30 p.m. EST. Viewers can watch it via NBA League Pass, a subscription service that is offering a free preview of the start of the season through Oct. 29. Click here to access the San Antonio game after it begins.

She will serve as one of four female referees this season.

Schroeder was a player herself. As a guard for SVSU’s women’s basketball team from 2006-07, she averaged 14.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2 steals over the course of 25 games played as a Cardinal.

She recalled her own experiences with referees when she was a player. Schroeder told the AP she fouled out of her first three games at SVSU, also picking up a technical foul “for a colorful comment.”

Before enrolling at SVSU, she played for the women’s basketball team at Oakland University.

Schroeder told the AP she began refereeing while in high school, and later, after she graduated from SVSU: “Someone looked at me one day and asked why I didn’t just do it as a profession, and I said, ‘You can do that?’”

Schroeder joins the relatively small class of female NBA referees that formed when Violet Palmer and Dee Kantner officiated their first league games during the 1997 season.

Fans can learn which games Schroeder officiates by accessing the NBA’s referee assignment webpage. Assignments are announced at 9 a.m. on the day of each game at

October 23, 2019

Judge, U.S. Army veteran among panelists for SVSU Alumni Authors Showcase

Saginaw Valley State University has inspired writers for decades. The institution again will host some of that talent during its annual Alumni Authors Showcase scheduled Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 5 p.m.
Scheduled in Curtiss Hall’s seminar rooms D and E at SVSU, the event will feature a panel of five alumni authors followed by a reception with refreshments. A book signing is scheduled at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The panelists include Judge Marylin E. Atkins, R.S. Deeren, Adela Crandell Durkee, Bethany (Phipps) Goforth and Walter E. Kitter.
The authors have written on a range of topics and genres including memoirs, poetry and historical fiction. Their books will be available for purchase at the event.
  • Deeren is a writer from Caro, where he has worked as a line cook, a lumberjack, a landscaper and a bank teller. His fiction has appeared in Rosebud Magazine, Joyland Fiction, Midwestern Gothic, Great Lakes Review and in the anthology, “Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation.” Deeren received a bachelor’s degree in creative writing in 2012.
  • Durkee grew up on a small mid-Michigan farm. Her first novel, “A Ship of Pearl,” is a coming-of-age historical fiction set in the 1930s. Durkee earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1982.
  • Goforth is a professional graphic designer and award-winning illustrator. The illustrations for her book, “Coco and Kitty,” were created using a variety of graphite pencils. Her work has been featured on the covers of the Michigan Horse Council’s newsletter and the Michigan Quarter Horse Association Magazine. Goforth earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design in 2014.
  • Kitter is a U.S. Army veteran who served in West Germany during the 1980s. His book, “A Place That I Love: A Tour Driver’s Perspective of Mackinac Island,” is an exploration of the island’s history and tourist spots, as well as some lesser-known attractions and hidden gems. He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2004.
The Alumni Author Showcase is part of SVSU's celebration of the National Day of Writing. The event is sponsored by SVSU's Forever Red, SVSU Alumni Relations and the SVSU Writing Center.
For more information about the event, contact Jim Dwyer, executive director of Alumni Relations, at 989-964-4209.