Deshauna Barber

Butler University Announces Spring 2019 Diversity Lecture Speakers

INDIANAPOLIS –  Deshauna Barber, the first Miss USA to serve in the U.S. military, and Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first U.S. woman to compete in the Olympics in a hijab, will be the speakers in Butler University’s spring 2019 Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

Barber’s talk will take place on February 11 at 7:00 PM. Muhammad will speak on March 25 at 7:00 PM. Both events will take place in the Atherton Union Reilly Room.

Admission to both events is free and open to the public without tickets. More information is at

Deshauna Barber

Deshauna Barber

February 11, 7:00 PM

Reilly Room

In 2016, Deshauna Barber became the first Miss USA to serve in the United States military. She spent her yearlong reign as Miss USA partnering with and lending her voice to the organizations such as the USO, Smile Train, Best Buddies, Operation Homefront, and numerous others.

Capt. Barber commissioned as a Quartermaster Officer in 2011 and has been serving her country ever since. She is now a logistics commander in the United States Army Reserve.

Barber is a survivor of child sexual abuse and wants to inspire other survivors to fight through the fears of their past, and she also has overcome extreme bullying from a young age. After the recent loss of her mother to cancer, she wants to encourage people to focus on loving yourself and the people around you.

Ibtihaj Muhammad

March 25, 7:00 PM

Reilly Room

Ibtihaj Muhammad made history at the 2016 Rio Olympics as the first U.S. woman to compete in the games in hijab, and she reached her goal of standing on the podium when she won bronze with the U.S. Women’s Saber Team. Ranked No. 7 in the world individually, Muhammad won gold with Team USA at the 2014 Senior World Championships and holds four bronze Senior World medals.

As a Muslim youth, Muhammad’s parents were in search of a sport for her to play where she could be fully covered. Fencing provided a unique opportunity where Muhammad could fulfill her desire to participate in sport and adhere to the tenants of her faith to cover her body. She began fencing at age 13.

About Butler University:Butler is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing five colleges—Arts, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences—and the Andre B. Lacy School of Business. Together, they offer more than 65 undergraduate areas of study, six pre-professional programs, 20 graduate programs, and nine non-degree programs and certificates. Around 4,400 undergraduate students are enrolled at Butler, representing 48 states and 34 countries. Butler students have extraordinary opportunity to participate in some form of internship, student teaching, clinical rotation, research, or service learning by the time they graduate, which prepares them for their careers. This community-centered immersion is coupled with classroom learning that nurtures critical thinking, effective communication, cooperative teamwork, and ethical decision making to prepare students for both professional success and to have lasting impact in their communities.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 WYRZ and Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at

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