Media advisory: Marion Jones to speak at UNC's Black Alumni Reunion

Marion Jones to speak at UNC’s Black Alumni Reunion

Wednesday (Oct. 27)
7 — 9:30 p.m.
Alumni Hall, The Carolina Club
George Watts Hill Alumni Center
106 Stadium Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Media representatives are welcome to cover a free public appearance by Marion Jones, former world champion track and field athlete, as part of UNC’s annual Black Alumni Reunion. Jones is an alumna of UNC and a member of the class of 1997.

Jones’ appearance coincides with the release of her book, “On the Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and Strength to Overcome and Succeed,” scheduled for release on Tuesday, Oct. 26.


7 p.m. — Remarks

7:30 p.m. — Audience Q&A

8 – 9:30 p.m. — Book signing

From pre-release materials:
“For more than a decade, Jones was hailed as the ‘the fastest woman on the planet.’ At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, she became the first woman ever to win five medals at one Olympics. The Associated Press and ESPN named her Athlete of the Year. She seemed to have it all — fame, fortune, talent and international acclaim. Now she is a convicted felon.

“In 2003, she lied to federal agents about her use of a performance-enhancing drug and her knowledge of a check fraud scam. In 2007, she admitted the truth. In a sad end to what seemed like a storybook career, she was stripped of her medals, and her track-and-field records were wiped from the books.

“She was incarcerated at Carswell federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, a prison known for its violence and abuse. While there, she kept herself in shape and her sanity intact by running on a dirt track and a treadmill in the prison’s improvised weight room. But her imprisonment marked a new beginning. She is now using her story to change the lives of people the world over and inspire others who, like her, face obstacles that seem insurmountable.”

Jones is scheduled to speak for approximately 30 minutes, followed by a 30-minute audience question-and-answer period and a book-signing session.

This event is presented as part of the Black Alumni Reunion’s 30th anniversary programming and is being organized by alumni volunteers active in the Black Alumni Reunion. There will be reserved seating for registered Black Alumni Reunion participants. All other seating is public; seating is limited, with availability by first come, first served.

Note: Media representatives may record video and audio during Jones’ remarks as well as during the follow-up question-and-answer period and during the book signing. Still photographs also may be taken. An area will be provided for media video, audio and photo access. Camera operators are asked to remain in the media area.

Interviews: Jones’ schedule at the Black Alumni Reunion does not permit interviews by the media at this event. To arrange separate interviews, contact publicity contact (Rich Nichols) below.

Logistics: Media parking will be available in the Rams Head Parking Deck on Ridge Road. The entrance to the George Watts Hill Alumni Center is from the Rams Head Parking Deck ( To reserve parking and a seat for the program, media representatives should contact technical assistance contact (Rick Davis) below no later than Tuesday (Oct. 26) at noon.

Audio assistance: Check with technical assistance contact below (Rick Davis) to ensure your audio needs can be matched with facility capabilities.

Directions: From Raleigh, take exit 273 off I-40 west onto N.C. 54 toward Chapel Hill. Go about four miles and turn left onto Stadium Drive, just before the Morehead Patterson Bell Tower. Pass Kenan Memorial Stadium on the right. The Alumni Center is the next building on the right.

Media parking: Continue past the Alumni Center and turn right at “T” intersection with Ridge Road. Take the next right, into the Rams Head Parking Deck and go to the third level.

Directions from parking to center: Leave the deck by the door marked for the Alumni Center and The Carolina Club, proceed up the brick walk, turn left toward the center and proceed to the entrance on the left. Once inside, turn right to reach the elevator and take it to the second floor.

UNC’s annual Black Alumni Reunion contact: Katrina Billingsley, (919) 641-7180,

Technical assistance contact: Rick Davis, (919) 962-3581,

Publicity contact: Rich Nichols, (415) 314-0066,

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