Office of the Mayor


Lawrence, Kansas


WHEREAS:   Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota, also known as Tamakoce Te’hila (meaning Respects the Earth, Loves His Country), was born on June 30, 1938 in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and orphaned at age 12 while growing up in poverty on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation; and


WHEREAS:   Billy graduated high school from Haskell Institute, now Haskell Indian Nations University, where he earned numerous track awards and would go on to earn a full athletic scholarship to the University of Kansas; and


WHEREAS:   While attending KU, Billy was named an NCAA All-American cross-country runner three times, won the 1960 Big Eight Championship, and, as a member of the track team, won the 1959 and 1960 Outdoor National Championships; and


WHEREAS:   After graduating from KU with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1962, Billy was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.  While serving in the Marines and qualifying for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, Billy set an Olympic record and became the only American to win an Olympic gold medal in the 10,000-meter race; and


WHEREAS:   Billy was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984, received the KU Award for Distinguished Service in 1993, the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Obama in 2012, awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Award – the highest honor bestowed by the NCAA in 2014, and received the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015; and


WHEREAS:   Billy founded the non-profit Running Strong for American Indian Youth, an organization that supports cultural programs and provides health and housing assistance for Native American communities; and


WHEREAS:   Billy Mills’ humanitarian work, perseverance, and conviction has made him a role model to all youth and an inspiration to countless others to follow your dreams; and


WHEREAS:   The Board of Education of Lawrence Public Schools USD 497 voted on February 26, 2018 to approve renaming the former South Middle School to Billy Mills Middle School.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Stuart Boley, Mayor of the City of Lawrence, Kansas, do hereby proclaim Saturday, November 3, 2018 to be


“Billy Mills day”