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Centennial Keynoter Billye Aaron

Media Alert: Mount Mary Celebrates Centennial with Keynoter Billye Aaron

Billye AaronWhat: Mount Mary University will mark its 100th year of educating women with a special scholarship dinner, featuring a keynote address from Billye Aaron. While Hank Aaron was setting records on the baseball field, his future wife was building her own accomplished career to include breaking through a television color barrier in the South. In June 1968, Billye Aaron debuted on "Today in Georgia" on WSB-TV in Atlanta, becoming the first African-American woman in the Southeast to co-host a daily, regularly scheduled talk show. As a host, she interviewed national and international leaders, dignitaries and celebrities, including Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Sidney Portier, Harry Belafonte, Jane Fonda and Pearl Bailey. In 1975, Billye Aaron transferred to WTMJ-TV, hosting her own weekly talk show called "Billye." Simultaneous to her media career, Billye Aaron taught at the high school and college level for 12 years before marrying Hank Aaron in 1973.

Billye Aaron has been committed to higher education throughout her career and was a prolific fundraiser for the United Negro College Fund. She also served on the boards of Texas College and Morehouse College. In addition, the Aarons co-founded the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation to help children with limited opportunities and financial barriers develop their special talents and pursue their dreams.

After Billye Aaron's remarks, the university plans a special recognition on stage to thank her for participating in the 100th anniversary celebration. All proceeds from the dinner will support scholarships for Mount Mary students.

When: Thursday, Sept. 19
Billye Aaron and her husband Hank are available for photo opportunities and brief remarks:

  • During a private reception from 5:30 - 6:15 p.m. , Ewens Center, first floor of Caroline Hall
  • After the dinner celebration, approximately 8:30-8:45 p.m.

Where: Mount Mary University, 2900 N. Menomonee River Parkway, Milwaukee

Visuals:

  • Guests will gather for a pre-dinner reception in Helfaer Hall on the first floor of Caroline Hall
  • A four-paneled wall-to-wall canvas depicting the University's 100 year history will be on display in Helfaer Hall
  • Nearly 400 guests will gather for a twilight dinner, under a tent on Mount Mary's front lawn (adjacent to Menomonee River Parkway) to celebrate the institution's significant milestone

Contact: Susan Shimshak, 414-256-1221 (office), 414-331-0978 (cell), shimshas@mtmary.edu.