Michael Sam is keynote speaker for LGBTQI+ History Month kickoff Oct. 5 at Auburn University

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Michael Sam, an NFL free agent and trailblazer who played college football for the University of Missouri, is coming to Auburn University Oct. 5 as the keynote speaker for the LGBTQI+ History Month kickoff event at 6 p.m. in Foy Hall Auditorium.

Sam made history when he came out as gay ahead of the NFL draft, making him the first openly-LGBTQI+ player to be drafted in any major American sport. Since his announcement he has become–through scrutiny, criticism and unreserved admiration–an icon and pioneer for the LGBTQI+ community.

He was named one of GQ Magazine's Men of the Year in 2014, was a finalist for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.

Cosponsors for the event are the Cross-Cultural Center for Excellence, the SPECTRUM student organization, the University Program Council and the University Writing and ePortfolio Project.

Diversity at Auburn University encompasses the whole of human experience and includes such human qualities as race, gender, ethnicity, physical ability, nationality, age, religion, sexual orientation, economic status and veteran status.

The Cross-Cultural Center for Excellence is committed to providing reasonable accommodation in its services, programs and activities. To request disability accommodations, contact the Cross- Cultural Center for Excellence at least 10 days in advance at 334-844-2976 (phone), 334-844-2856 (fax), or email Stephanie Patterson at sjp0014@auburn.edu.

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Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.