KU education school to honor Mills

Billy Mills, a 1964 Olympic gold medalist and Kansas University track standout, will be honored Saturday by KU’s School of Education for his work with American Indian youth.

Mills will receive the education school’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award during the school’s convocation ceremony. The ceremony will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Lied Center on KU’s West Campus.

Mills, who received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from KU in 1962, is spokesperson for Running Strong for American Youth.

The nonprofit organization’s mission is to strengthen American Indian communities by creating opportunities for self-sufficiency and self-esteem.

The KU education school named a scholarship for Mills earlier this year. The Billy Mills Running Strong for Indian Youth Scholarship is available to American Indian students who are studying to become teachers.

Mills, a member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) tribe, is also an alumnus of Haskell Indian Nations University.

Mills is best known for winning the gold medal in the 10,000-meter run at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, which inspired the 1983 film “Running Brave,” with Robby Benson.