American Olympic Icon Bob Beamon to Deliver Eureka College Commencement Address
April 20, 2018
EUREKA, Ill. — Legendary United States Olympian Bob Beamon will serve as Eureka College’s May 2018 Commencement speaker on Saturday, May 5 at the Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center. Commencement will begin at 10:30 a.m. Beamon, a native of South Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., was the Gold Medalist in the long jump at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. His jump of 29-feet, 2.5-inches shattered the world record and remains the Olympic record after nearly a half-century.
Beamon’s Olympic moment was just a small part of a long list of athletic accomplishments. He is a member of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame and selected as one of ESPN’s top 100 athletes of the 20th century. Beamon is also a member of the Jesse Owens Foundation Board of Directors and most recently appointed as the Global Ambassador to Special Olympics.
Upon the conclusion of his track and field career, Beamon went back to school to complete his degree, graduating from Adelphi University in 1972 with a degree in Sociology. Mr. Beamon later received an Honorary Doctorate from Adelphi University.
Beamon has translated his athletic success into a career of positively impacting others’ lives, traveling the world giving motivational and educational talks to universities and businesses that focus on overcoming obstacles and a will towards greatness. Beamon applies lessons from his own life and serves as a positive example for American youth.
“We are truly honored to have Mr. Beamon, a world renowned Olympian and humanitarian, to deliver our Commencement address,” Eureka College President Dr. Jamel Santa Cruze Wright said. “While his 50-year Olympic record is amazing, his life of service and leadership is quite impressive and offers a great and encouraging example to motivate our graduates.”
As the Deputy Commissioner of Park in Miami-Dade County, Beamon, along with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, organized the South Florida Inner-City Games for at-risk kids and served as Chairman of the Bob Beamon United Way Golf Classic, which benefited youth-related programs for the United Way. In 1997, he developed the Bob Beamon Organization for Youth, which has raised over two million dollars for disadvantaged scholar athletes. As a diabetic he continues to promote a healthy lifestyle to others by eating right and exercising regularly.
In addition to spending time as an inspirational speaker, Beamon published his autobiography, “The Man Who Could Fly: The Bob Beamon Story” and has developed his own motivational program, The Champion in You, in which he shares that champions are determined not only by their accomplishments but by the way they deal with everyday life situations. Beamon also operates his own corporation, Bob Beamon Communications Inc., in Las Vegas, Nev. where he now lives with his wife, Rhonda A. Beamon.