Webster University appointed Jackie Joyner-Kersee as the commencement speaker for the online 2021 commencement ceremony.
Joyner-Kersee is a six-time Olympic medalist, earning her the title of “Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century” from Sports Illustrated.
In addition to her athletic career, Joyner-Kersee has made huge impacts as a philanthropist– especially to St. Louis. Her foundation, the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, funded a 41,000 square foot recreation center in East St. Louis. The goal was to fulfill a need for youth sports and recreation venues in the area.
Joyner-Kersee also advocates for children’s education, health issues, social reform and women’s rights.
“In her role as an athlete and as a philanthropist, Jackie Joyner-Kersee has inspired millions,” said President Julian Schuster. “She continues to excel in everything she does and redefines the meaning of being ‘the greatest ever.’”
In addition to her role as commencement speaker, Joyner-Kersee received the Champion for All award at the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion conference in 2019. She will also be receiving an honorary doctorate in humane letters.
Graduation is set for May 8.