(Posted March 26, 2018)

Courtesy: Greg Louganis

Courtesy: Greg Louganis

Huntingdon, Pa.—Juniata College will host Greg Louganis, Olympic medalist and gay rights advocate on Sunday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Rosenberger, Auditorium, Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. Louganis’s speech, “Being the Difference You Make,” is free and open to the public.

The most decorated diver in U.S. history, Louganis is a five-time Olympic medal winner. He earned his first medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics at the age of 16, where he took silver and won 4 olympic gold medals. Since then, he has won five World Championship titles. With 47 national titles, he has more athletic accolades than any other athlete in U.S. history.

In 1994, Louganis came out as gay and, in 1995, he announced that he was HIV-positive. His book, Breaking The Surface, spent five weeks at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list.

“Greg certainly embraces the ideals we hold close at Juniata—he has thought about who he is and how that poises him to make a greater impact for others,” says Caroline Gillich, head field hockey coach at Juniata and associate director of the College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  “He continuously uses all that he is to make a differences in the worlds around him. He certainly showcases the courage to act. We look forward to learning how Juniata can continue to support our students and our community through struggles and help us emerge glorious.”

A theater major in college, Louganis has made appearances in both film and television, including the film Watercolors, where he plays a swimming coach, and in the comedy show Portlandia, playing himself. He even played the Prince in the Long Beach Civic Light Opera’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

He made history on Jan. 2, 2017, by being the first openly gay Grand Marshal of the iconic Rose Parade. Today, the author, actor, activist, humanitarian and clothing and jewelry designer gives motivational speeches across the country.

Louganis’s visit to Juniata is co-sponsored by Juniata Athletics and the Office of the President. His presence is also part of a larger Beyond Tolerance series, which hosts events that present an opportunity to advance Juniata’s institutional goal of creating a campus community of inclusiveness from the classroom to the residence hall room to the conference room. Each event from the series is open to all members of both the Juniata and Huntingdon communities. To learn more, visit: www.juniata.edu/diversity.


—Written by Nathan Woods ’19—

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.