Hill College


Hill College hosts former two-time Olympic gold medalist, motivational speaker on Feb. 15


Gold medalist Bob Richards

A two-time Olympic gold medalist in pole vaulting – and the first person ever to appear on a Wheaties cereal box – will be this year’s speaker at the Hill College Alden J. Blanar Smith Speaker Series on Feb. 15 in the Vara Martin Daniel Performing Arts Center in Hillsboro.

Bob Richards, who resides in Waco, has been an American icon for more than eight decades in the area of track and field. Although he hung up his cleats long ago, he continues to travel around the country as a motivational speaker.

“We are very fortunate to have Bob Richards come and speak at our college,” Hill College President Dr. Pam Boehm said. “He is the definition of a true American athlete.”

Richards has delivered over 12,000 speeches spanning the past 50 years, and he has spoken to more than seven million high school students.

Although there is no cost to attend the Feb. 15 Alden J. Blanar Smith Speaker Series, seating is limited in the Performing Arts Center. Richards will begin speaking at 7:30 p.m. and a reception is scheduled at the conclusion of the Series.

Previous speakers in the Series have included former Congressman Chet Edwards, Baylor University President Judge Kenneth Winston Starr, U.S. Astronaut Story Musgrave, and Eric Nadel – the voice of the Texas Rangers.

- Three-time Olympic pole vaulter (1948 – bronze medal; 1952 – gold medal; and 1956 – gold medal)

- Member of 100 Golden Olympians Team (1996)

- Spokesperson for Wheaties/General Mills (1958-72)

- National Indoor/Outdoor Champion 27 times

- Physical Fitness Leader/Bob Richards Fitness Crusade (1970)

- World Master Track and Field Champion (1983-91)

- U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Inductee (1983)

- U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame Inductee (1970)

- National Track and Field Hall of Fame Inductee (1970)

…and much more


Alden J. Blanar Smith began teaching at Hill Junior College in 1965 as a government/history instructor and retired in 2000 after 35 years in the classroom. He was active in the Texas Community College Teachers Association, was chosen as a National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development (NISOD) recipient in 1994, was very active in The Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Abbott, traveled to his beloved Czech Republic many times and presented many programs on the communist takeover of the Czech Republic. 

Smith received his bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and his master's degree from Midwestern State University but was certainly an Aggie through and through! He was a beloved instructor at Hill College, and he passed away in November 2001.


Who: Bob Richards

What: former two-time Olympic gold medalist and current motivational speaker

When: Monday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Vara Martin Daniel Performing Arts Center at Hill College in Hillsboro

Attendees: Open to the public

Cost: Free

Post Event: Reception to follow