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Track and field great, noted humanitarian Jackie Joyner-Kersee coming to Kansas State University

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016


MANHATTAN — Olympic track and field champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee will be the guest speaker for Kansas State University's annual Women's History Month Dinner and Lecture on March 16, 2017. To lead up to the event, the university's department of gender, women, and sexuality studies is sponsoring a series of free Olympic panels featuring Kansas State University Olympians.

"We're thrilled to bring track and field legend Jackie Joyner-Kersee to K-State," said Angela Hubler, interim head of the gender, women, and sexuality studies department, which sponsors the Women's History Month Lecture.

"A health advocate and humanitarian, Joyner-Kersee shares her life story and work with audiences around the country in inspirational keynotes," Hubler said. "We're also excited because this event raises funds for department scholarships that support some of our very deserving students."

Tickets for Joyner-Kersee's lecture, "Dare to Dream," are $75 and can be reserved online at www.found.ksu.edu/rsvp/jjk or by calling 785-532-7093. The event, at West Stadium, starts with a social and drinks from 5:30-6 p.m., followed by dinner and the lecture. A private reception for donors will be from 8-9 p.m.

Named "the greatest female athlete of the 20th century" by Sports Illustrated, Joyner-Kersee won three gold, one silver and two bronze medals over four Olympics. Today, Joyner-Kersee is known worldwide for her interest in aiding others. The recipient of the inaugural Humanitarian Athlete of the Year award, Joyner-Kersee helped build the Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation in her hometown of East St. Louis, Illinois, that has raised more than $12 million. In 2007, she along with several notable athletes, founded Athletes for Hope, an organization of professional athletes who get involved in charitable causes and inspire millions of nonathletes to volunteer and support their community.

Joyner-Kersee is the author of "A Kind of Grace," in which she recounts how she overcame her difficult years to rise to the top.

The first Olympic panel will be 5:30-6:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in Town Hall at Kansas State University's Leadership Studies Building. Titled "Being Fearless," the panel of Wildcat Olympians will share the secrets to their success. Panelists include Erik Kynard, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the high jump; Thane Baker, who won a silver medal in the 200 meters at the 1952 Olympics, and a gold medal in the 4x100 meter relay, silver medal in the 100 meters and bronze medal in the 200 meters at the 1956 Olympics; Ed Broxterman, who participated in the high jump at the 1996 Olympics; and Akela Jones, who participated in the heptathlon at the 2016 Olympics. The panel will be moderated by Jill Montgomery, a former Kansas State University track and field athlete who now serves as an ESPN analyst, and Gwen Wentland-Mikinski, a member of the Kansas State University Athletic Hall of Fame and an Olympic track and field coach.

Details for the Olympic panel on Feb. 3, 2017, will be announced later. The topic will be "High-level Performance."

Both panels are open to the public.

The gender, women, and sexuality studies department is in the College of Arts & Sciences.

At a glance

Tickets for the Women's History Month dinner and lecture, featuring Olympic great Jackie Joyner-Kersee, are available now. The event will be March 16, 2017, at Kansas State University and is sponsored by the gender, women, and sexuality studies department.