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BSC’s Stirling Lecture to feature Olympic gymnast, entrepreneur Shawn Johnson East

BSC’s Stirling Lecture to feature Olympic gymnast, entrepreneur Shawn Johnson East

For Immediate Release
Feb. 6, 2018

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern will welcome Olympic gold medalist, entrepreneur, and “Dancing with the Stars” champion Shawn Johnson East on Tuesday, Feb. 27, for the college’s 2018 Alex P. Stirling Lecture.

Shawn Johnson EastThe 7 p.m. presentation, titled “Winning Balance: What I’ve Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams,” will be held in Bruno Great Hall in BSC’s Norton Campus Center. It is free and open to the public; doors open at 6 p.m.

Since she was a little girl, Johnson East dreamed of competing for the United States in the Olympics. By 2008, when she was named to the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team, she was already a two-time National Champion, and a World AA Champion.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Johnson East helped establish the U.S. as one of the most talented teams in the world, winning the individual gold medal in the balance beam and three silver medals in the individual all-around, floor exercise, and team categories.

Shawn Johnson East

In 2009, she was named the 79th Amateur Athletic Union Sullivan Award recipient, one of amateur sports’ most prestigious honors. That same year, she also won season eight of “Dancing with the Stars” and earned second place on the show’s all-star episode. In 2012, Johnson East published her book, Winning Balance, and announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics following a knee injury. In 2014, she competed on the seventh installment of the hit show “Celebrity Apprentice.”

In addition to gymnastics, Johnson East is known for her charitable endeavors, including her work with many cancer-related and animal charities. She enjoys animals, shopping, horseback riding, and motorcycles.

The Stirling Lecture Series is sponsored by the BSC Student Government Association in memory of a Birmingham-Southern student who died of cancer in 1995. The event is part of BSC’s year-long celebration of the 100-year anniversary of its existence in Birmingham. The college will offer several more special events for current students, alumni, and the broader community during 2018. For full details, visit