UT’s Class of 2013 will get some gold-medal advice on graduation day: Olympian and Longhorn Sanya-Richards Ross will give this year’s commencement speech.
Richards-Ross was on UT’s track and field team from 2002 to 2005, when she left to go pro. A veteran of the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Olympics, she’s racked up five medals from the Games (four gold and one bronze). In 2012, she became the first American woman to win the Olympic 400m since 1984.
The recipient of numerous community service awards, such as the Visa Humanitarian of the Year Award, Richards-Ross also leads the Fast Track Program, a nonprofit that supports children in her native Jamaica. She lives in Austin with her husband, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Aaron Ross. Ross played football for the Longhorns from 2003 to 2006.
“The University of Texas means the world to me and being an alumnus is a source of great pride for me,” Richards-Ross told the Alcalde in July 2012.
Richards-Ross was selected by a committee of student leaders, says Office of the Vice President for Research communications coordinator Tim Green. “The student body president [Thor Lund], the Senate of College Councils, and the Graduate Student Assembly worked together on the decision,” Green says.
The May 18 commencement ceremony is slated for 8 p.m. on the Main Mall.
Photo courtesy André Zehetbauer.