Legendary tennis star and former No. 1 in the world Billie Jean King is scheduled to deliver this year’s commencement address at Northwestern University on June 16th in Ryan Field on the Evanston campus. She is widely known for her advocacy towards gender equality and gay rights in the sports industry and feels that being an advocate for the LGBTQIA community is one of her most useful passions. The university is thrilled to have King be a part of their celebration and she will be a great role model speaker for some of the newest college graduates in the country.
The Long Beach, California native got her start in tennis during her childhood when she learned to play the sport on the free public courts in her city. She made her Grand Slam debut at the young age of 15 in 1959, and even though she didn’t win that time it was just the start of a new path for her. King won her first adult tournament in 1960 at the Philadelphia and District Women’s Grass tournament, and within just six years she was known to be the best player in the world. In the 24 years of her professional career, she won 12 Grand Slam singles titles that were all at Wimbledon.
King was chosen to be this summer’s commencement speaker for the new graduates of Northwestern University and is set to take the stage on June 16th at the Evanston campus’ Ryan Field. It should be an inspiring event and a very memorable for the grads of spring 2017.
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Watch Billie Jean Speaking about how she paved the way for female athletes: