Michelle Obama's High School Alma Mater To Name $4.3 Million Athletic Complex In Her Honor

“She understands the importance of exercise,” the school's principal shared of one of the many reasons to commemorate Mrs. Obama.

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| March 08 2019,

5:52 pm

Michelle Obama is being honored with a significant Chicago namesake thanks to her high school alma mater.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Whitney Young Magnet High School, where she graduated in 1981, is immortalizing our forever first lady by naming its new $4.3 million athletic complex after her. A May ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for the facility which will host the school’s baseball, softball, lacrosse and track teams.

Principal Joyce Kenner says the school is excited to open its doors to students and community members.

Last November, Obama visited Chicago to kick off the book tour for her memoir Becoming. Kenner noted school officials discussed the decision with Obama, who "seemed very excited." During husband Barack Obama's second presidential term, the 55-year-old founded the Let's Move campaign to address childhood obesity.

“She understands the importance of exercise,” Kenner shared. “It’s all about keeping students fit. She embodies that spirit of athleticism.”

Obama took to her Instagram page to share a post highlighting her visit to the school, featuring a photo of ballet dancers in honor of Women's History Month.  

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"They’re working hard in their classes, expressing themselves through dance, and dreaming big for themselves in the years ahead. It probably goes without saying, but I see a lot of myself in these smiles. And I can’t wait to see what they become," she captioned the post. 






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As we enter #WomensHistoryMonth, I’m going to keep focusing on the stories of the history that’s being made today. I’ll be telling you about young women I’ve met recently—young women who are making the most of the opportunities created by the generations who came before them. I met this first group of young ladies when I visited my alma mater, @WhitneyMYoungHS on the South Side of Chicago, last fall with my friend Robin Roberts. They’re working hard in their classes, expressing themselves through dance, and dreaming big for themselves in the years ahead. It probably goes without saying, but I see a lot of myself in these smiles. And I can’t wait to see what they become. #FlashbackFriday #IAmBecoming

A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

Per the Chicago Tribune, the building boasts an outdoor complex with artificial turf, two scoreboards, a water fountain, seating and lights. The Chicago Department of Planning and Development revealed Tax Increment Financing (TIF), a public financing method, was used to fund the project. 

“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. “Whether you believed in their views or not, I think that they went about it as sincere as they possibly could as our president and our first lady. That is what I will always remember.”

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