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2012.11.14 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

Olympic Gold Medalist, Oglala Member to Visit Campus Nov. 16

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is bringing Olympic Gold Medalist and Oglala Lakota tribe member Billy Mills to campus on Friday, Nov. 16 for two events - an event with students from Omaha South High School and a speech. Mills' visit to UNO is part of a month-long celebration of Native American heritage at UNO.

Mills gained international fame when he won the gold medal in the 10,000-meter run in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. He is the first and currently only American to win Olympic gold in the event.

Mills was born in Pine Ridge, S.D. and attended the University of Kansas on an athletic scholarship. He was named an NCAA All-American cross-country runner three times during his time at Kansas. Mills joined the United States Marine Corps after graduating from the University of Kansas and was a first lieutenant in the Marine Corps reserves when he competed in the 1964 Olympics.

Since his run, Mills has been inducted into the United States National Track and Field Hall of Fame and U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, as well as being the subject of the film “Running Brave” in 1983.

Here is a summary of the two UNO events featuring Mills on Friday, Nov. 16:

Mills Meets With Omaha South High School on UNO’s Campus from 9:45 a.m. -11 a.m.
(closed to the public & open to media)

The first event will feature Mills meeting with Omaha South students and UNO Native American Studies students at UNO’s Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) building. Mills will meet the students in HPER at 9:45 a.m. before running with the students on the building’s indoor track.

Both sets of students are in the process of finalizing a collaborative service-learning project, known as “Sacred Circle,” which celebrates Native American culture through weekly educational and service events. Students will take what they learn from Mills during his visit and use it to host a booth at CultureFest, a cultural celebration in Omaha, on March 3, 2013.

This event is organized as part of a P-16 Learning Project through UNO’s Service Learning Academy and Omaha Public Schools. The Service Learning Academy P-16 Initiative facilitates partnerships between UNO and K-12 schools with the purpose of connecting curriculum to community needs through the development of academic service learning experiences.

The Service Learning Academy at UNO works in partnership with Building Bright Futures in an effort to improve academic performance, raise graduation rates, increase civic and community responsibility and ensure all students are prepared for post-secondary education.

For more information about Friday’s student running and lunch event contact Julie Dierberger, UNO Service Learning Academy, at 402.554.3268 or by email at jdierberger@unomaha.edu, or Edouardo Zendejas, Native American Studies, at 402.554.2624 or by email at ezendejas@unomaha.edu.

Mills Gives Speech on Diversity
(open to public & media)

Later on Friday, November 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Mills will speak in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) Room 101 lecture hall about how global unity can be achieved through celebrating diversity.

UNO’s Student Organizations and Leadership Programs (SOLP), InterTribal Student Council and the Native American Studies Department are co-sponsoring this event.

There is no need to RSVP for the event, which is free and will include complimentary food.

For more information about Friday’s lecture contact Cindy Krafka at 402.554.2758, or by email at ckrafka@unomaha.edu.


Mills (722) crosses the finish line at the1964 Olympics in Tokyo
(Photo courtesy of the United States Marine Corps)

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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