Thanks to Her High School Alma Mater, We Now Have an Athletic Complex Named After Michelle Obama

Illustration for article titled Thanks to Her High School Alma Mater, We Now Have an Athletic Complex Named After Michelle Obama
Photo: Dia Dipasupil (Getty Images)

On the heels of a New York Times best-selling book, coupled with a promotional tour that somehow sold out stadium after stadium throughout Trump’s America, Michelle Obama is returning to her roots of sorts—or at least her namesake. Because on Thursday came the announcement that her high school alma mater—Whitney M. Young Magnet High School—will be naming it’s new athletic center after her.

The Chicago Tribune has the scoop:

The new athletic complex, a project that Kenner said has been about 10 years in the making, will have a running track and a field where students can play baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer and football.

The outdoor complex will also have two scoreboards, a water fountain, artificial turf, seating and lights. The $4.3 million complex was funded with tax-increment financing assistance, according to a 2017 news release from the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.

The new running track in particular will make a difference to the students.

“Our kids have been running on the concrete for 44 years,” Kenner said. The students would run to Willis Tower and back. “Now they will have a track in which they can practice their running, their hurdling, and have contests on the field.”


Principal Joyce Kenner has fond memories of Michelle’s reaction when she was informed of the amazing news.

“She just had the biggest smile on her face, I think she was just shocked that we had even thought of her,” Kenner said. “Honestly, getting an opportunity to be in her presence twice. … I didn’t realize how humble she really is.”

The complex is expected to be complete by May.

“When people drive by and see the sign on the field they will always remember her contribution and her husband’s contribution to our world,” Kenner said.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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Vanessa Futrell

Barack Obama is one lucky man!

This is way off topic but I never knew that people who put sugar in their grits until I started reading The Root. I guess that I must’ve lived a very sheltered life. Lol