Over the three decades of our partnership with Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills, he has given us many, many reasons to be proud and honored by our association with him!
Among them includes being named as a recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal (the second-highest civilian award in the United States) in 2013 by President Obama, the star which was placed in his honor in 2017 in his hometown of Sacramento, California’s “Walk of Stars,” and the recent recognition by the governor and state legislature of South Dakota proclaiming March 6 as “Billy Mills Day” in the state.
We now have another honor to add to the long and illustrious list: The Lawrence, Kansas, school district recently voted unanimously to change the name of a middle school to “Billy Mills Middle School” to recognize the past and present contributions of Native Americans such as Billy to Lawrence history. “We need to be mindful that this is more than just changing a sign on the building,” said board president Shannon Kimball in NativeNewsOnline.net. “It has to be more than that for this to be successful.”
The land the school currently sits on was previously owned by Haskell Indian Nations University which was given to the city of Lawrence. Billy is a Haskell alumnus.
The school will officially become Billy Mills Middle School on July 1 with the start of the 2018-2019 school year.