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Anita L. DeFrantz, an Olympic official and 1978 Olympic medalist in rowing, will speak at the Mount's 2008 commencement on May 12.

MSMU Welcomes History-Making Olympian as Commencement Speaker

Feb. 18, 2008 -- The Mount celebrates Commencement 2008 on May 12 with speaker Anita L. DeFrantz, an Olympic medalist, community activist, and the first woman in the history of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to serve as its vice president.

Graduation ceremonies will be held at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, Calif., and will include associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, and certificate programs.

DeFrantz is an attorney and a member of the IOC and the 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams. She is president of the board of directors of the LA84 Foundation, which is managing Southern California’s endowment from the 1984 Olympic Games.

“Anita DeFrantz is an inspiring leader who has set the bar high for women around the globe,” said Mount President Jacqueline Powers Doud. “She is truly a role model for our students—and shows that one person can make a difference both on the larger stage and in our own community.”

In addition to earning a bronze medal for rowing in the 1976 Games, DeFrantz won a silver medal in the 1978 world championships, was a finalist in the world championships four times, and won six national championships.

DeFrantz is chair of the IOC’s Women and Sport Commission and the IOC Athletes’ Commission Election Committee. She is also a member of a number of other IOC commissions, including the Coordination Commission for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

DeFrantz was named one of “L.A.’s Most Powerful Sports Executives” in 2005 by the Los Angeles Business Journal. In 2003, Sports Illustrated named her one of the “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports.” She is also the recipient of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Black Woman of Achievement Award, the NAACP Jackie Robinson Sports Achievement Award, and the Essence magazine Award for Sports.

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