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Olympic gold medalists Hamm and Johnson are ULM’s Lyceum Series speakers

Published February 15, 2017

Monroe, La. —Soccer player, Mia Hamm, and artistic gymnast, Shawn Johnson, will share their unique stories at the University of Louisiana Monroe as part of this year’s Lyceum Series held on Thursday, March 9 at 7 p.m. in ULM’s Brown Auditorium. Hamm and Johnson are both retired after outstanding professional careers, with seven Olympic medals between the two of them. 

Sponsored by the ULM Student Government Association (SGA), ULM Lyceum Series promotes intellectual exchange among ULM students, faculty and staff, as well as the community. The ULM Lyceum Series has hosted many authors, political pundits, journalists, captains of industry, movie and TV celebrities, as well as other notable personalities. The most notable ones include: renowned author Nicholas Sparks, political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin, ice cream entrepreneurs Ben and Jerry Greenfield, journalist and TV host Lisa Ling, lawyer and social activist Robert Kennedy, Jr., three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Thomas Friedman, and more. Hamm and Johnson are the first-ever athletes to be featured.

Laura Jennings, Director of Student Life and Leadership, said since March is Women’s History Month, the Lyceum Committee wanted to focus on finding a strong female speaker to honor.“We ended up finding two speakers who worked well together and created an interesting dynamic,” Jennings said. “Hamm and Johnson will discuss several topics during a moderated interview-style event, including the determination and dedication it takes to win Olympic gold. We could not be more excited!"

ULM students may purchase one ticket at a discounted price of $5. ULM faculty and staff may purchase one ticket at a discounted price of $15. General admission tickets are $25; and Patron Party tickets are $50 and are limited.

The Patron Party will precede the event at 5:30 p.m. in the ULM Library Conference Center, located on the seventh floor of the ULM Library.

Tickets may be purchased online at ulm.edu/lyceum/tickets.html

About Shawn Johnson:

Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson

Although only 25-years-old, Johnson has already accomplished a lifetime of achievements, including four Olympic Medals, a book on the New York Times Best Sellers list, a business and a career in broadcast.

Johnson was only 16-years-old when she won four medals, including gold, at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Soon after, in 2009, she published her first book, titled Shawn Johnson, Olympic Champion-Stories Behind the Smile. Johnson’s second book, Winning Balance: What I’ve Learned So Far About Love, Faith and Living Your Dreams, was published in 2012 and soon made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Her first Young Adult novel, titled The Flipside, was published last year.

Johnson became an entrepreneur in 2014, when she launched TheBodyDepartment.com, a website dedicated to offering a digital space where people can talk about body image, wellness and fitness in a healthy way.

Johnson remains a strong advocate of health and wellness initiatives, while her philanthropic activities include working with animal and children’s charities, as well as cancer charities.


About Mia Hamm:


Mia Hamm
Olympic Gold Medalist Mia Hamm

Making her debut at age 15, Hamm was the youngest woman to ever appear in a match for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team. Winning two FIFA Women’s World Cups, two Olympic Gold medals and making a near, unparalleled success as a marketing icon, Hamm retired from professional soccer in 2004. 

Hamm has received many prestigious awards throughout her outstanding career, including five-times US Soccer Player of the Year award, induction into the Soccer Hall of Fame, named to FIFA 100 - a list of the greatest living soccer players, while Nike named the largest building on their corporate campus after her.

Hamm might be one of the most decorated female athletes in the world, but she is also dedicated to philanthropy through the Mia Hamm Foundation she founded in 1997.

Hamm strives to serve as an inspiration to young girls looking to rise to the pinnacle of the sporting world. She has maintained an active presence within the soccer community and has served as an outspoken advocate for Title IX and gender equality across sporting lines.


For more information about this event, contact Laura Knotts Jennings, at knotts@ulm.edu or at 318-342-5287.