Olympic Track Legend To Headline Rockhurst University’s First-Ever St. Louis Leadership Series Luncheon

Monday, October 15, 2018
Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Rockhurst University will bring its showcase of national leadership across the state for the first-ever St. Louis Leadership Series luncheon, featuring Olympic gold medalist and hometown hero Jackie Joyner-Kersee speaking on “Leadership and Perseverance” in a conversation with longtime St. Louis sports broadcaster Frank Cusumano at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Old Warson Country Club, 9841 Old Warson Road in St. Louis, Missouri.

Kersee is one of the most decorated female athletes of all time, dominating the track and field circuit for 16 years. She appeared in four different Olympic games, winning three gold, one silver and two bronze medals and setting a world record for the heptathalon along the way. Kersee was named the greatest female athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated for Women, earned the five top American Athlete honors, and is a member of the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame.

A native of East St. Louis, Illinois, Kersee has been a longtime leader for her hometown and the greater St. Louis community. She helped build the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center Foundation and has raised more than $12 million to help provide positive programs for youth in her hometown. She has also been active in developing and promoting healthful lifestyles as a national spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s My Plate initiative, the replacement for the food pyramid. She has also joined forces with the Farm Foundation to address the availability of healthful foods in challenged communities through the U.S.

Cusumano is an award-winning St. Louis sports anchor and sports director at KSDK Channel 5. He can also be heard hosting his daily radio show, The Pressbox, on KFNS 590.

Also during the luncheon, the University will recognize three outstanding alumni for their contributions to the St. Louis community. Scott and Kathleen Hummel, ’86, will receive the Magis Award, which each year recognizes outstanding member of the Rockhurst community who lives in or is from the St. Louis community who epitomizes the Jesuit core value of magis, or “more.” In 1993, the Hummels made a dream come true, opening Our Little Haven to serve the needs of St. Louis’ most vulnerable populations with early intervention, community-based model for assisting the youngest victims of abuse, neglect, drug exposure and HIV/AIDS. Since opening, Our Little Haven has served more than 20,000 children and families. Another Rockhurst alumna, Samantha Whited Fechter, ’09, will receive the Faber Young Alumni Award for her leadership and service to her community.