In this issue, meet Board of Trustees member Gayle Benson

By Crystale Lopez

Gayle Marie Benson, a New Orleanian for the past 30 years, has been a member of the UIW Board of Trustees since 2007.

“I was asked to join the board by our close friend, Stanley Rosenberg,” she said. “UIW President Lou Agnese also asked if I would be interested in joining and I quickly accepted.”

Benson believes the importance of serving as a board member is the impact the board can directly have on the future of the university.

“The university is experiencing tremendous growth and awareness and I cherish being a part of such wonderful growth,” she said. “The board has built momentum and I believe UIW offers students from all backgrounds a remarkable education. We must continue on this momentum.”

Benson is a director of the New Orleans Saints National Football League team; a director of Bensco of Texas, an automobile, real estate and banking firm; and a director of Bensco of Louisiana, an automotive and real estate firm.

An active member of the Catholic Church, Benson has also received a number of awards for her contributions and efforts, including the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem and the Order of St. Louis Award for outstanding individual of the year.

“What I enjoy most about the University of the Incarnate Word is that the student body is so diverse and interesting,” she said. “The university prides itself on being ethnically diverse with students from all over the world. That diversity makes for an interesting and exciting campus experience.”

She has been married to Tom Benson since 2004. She and Tom supported the establishment of UIW football with two gifts to fund the Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium.

“When my husband and I are in town, we very much enjoy the holiday season events surrounding the university,” Benson said. “We also certainly enjoy meeting and getting to know the other members of the board.”

Benson has conducted a successful design and construction business, developing condominium units, residential units, and numerous other improvements, including those performed for hotels including the New Orleans Hilton, Fairmont Hotel, Maison Dupuy, Royal Orleans, Hyatt Hotels and the Ritz-Carleton Hotel. She has also designed many restaurants including the Court of Two Sisters.