Jill Ellis, a William & Mary alumna who coached the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in 2015, will speak to this year’s graduates.
She will serve as the 2016 commencement speaker at the ceremony slated for 10 a.m. May 14.
Ellis, who graduated from William & Mary in 1988, will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony along with John Bridgeland, CEO of Civic Enterprises and co-chairman of the Service Year Alliance.
William & Mary Chancellor and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, a graduate of the 1965 class, will take part in the event and offer welcoming remarks.
“Jill Ellis is a coach of compelling ability who leads on the world stage,” President Taylor Reveley said. “She is also a dedicated alumna of her alma mater. William & Mary is enormously proud of her. It is also our great privilege to honor John Bridgeland, whose record of public service and civic engagement is simply remarkable. Bridgeland is one of the leading proponents of a national year of service for young adults. His ties to William & Mary run deep.”
Ellis, who has coached the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team since 2014, led the team to its first World Cup victory since 1999. In January, she was named FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year and will coach the Women’s National Team in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazi this summer.
In 2002, Ellis was inducted into the William & Mary Athletic Hall of Fame and was named a Tribe Champion for Life during a return visit to the school last fall.
For more information on the 2016 commencement ceremony, click here.