By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — On Thursday, April 11, Oklahoma State University will present supermodel turned media mogul Tyra Banks to deliver a keynote speech to inspire students, organizers say. The event is hosted by the OSU Student Government Association Speakers Board.
The 45-year-old businesswoman and television personality will make her presentation at 7 p.m., at Gallagher-Iba Arena, 200 Athletic Center, on the Stillwater campus.
“We selected Tyra Banks as this year’s diversity speaker because we believe she will bring new ideas and an inspiring impact to our campus,” said Summer Stevens, a senior apparel merchandising major from Perry, Oklahoma. Stevens is director of the OSU Speakers Board, which brings three high-profile speakers to campus each academic year.
“Ms. Banks has seen great success through many industries, but that did not come without hard work and determination,” Stevens added. “We felt she could relate to every student on our campus and share inspiring insights with them. We are very excited to bring Ms. Banks to OSU.”
Following Banks speech, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a moderated question-and-answer session focused on diversity, work ethic and advice for college students.
Banks, a former supermodel and Victoria’s Secret angel, was rejected by six modeling agencies before being signed at 15 years old, according to her official biography.
Born in Inglewood, California, Banks became a top international fashion model and the first black female cover model on GQ Magazine and first black woman to be featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
She later hosted the reality TV show America’s Next Top Model and her own daytime talk show, for which she won two Emmy Awards. Banks launched her own cosmetics line in 2014 and took over Nick Cannon‘s hosting duties on America’s Got Talent in 2017.
Banks enrolled at Harvard Business School, completing her special course for CEOs and other top executives in early 2012.
Early in her modeling career, she signed lucrative contracts with Cover Girl and Victoria’s Secret, becoming a staple of both companies’ advertising campaigns and runway shows.
Named to People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People list numerous times, Banks received the prestigious Michael Award for Supermodel of the Year in 1997, and also won two Teen Choice Awards for Favorite Supermodel.
Active in a number of social and charitable causes, one of Banks’ personal missions has been to help young women deal with self-esteem issues. At 19, Banks funded a scholarship to help young black women attend her alma mater, the private Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles.
The event is free for students, faculty and staff with a valid OSU ID. Tickets can be purchased for $10 beginning at 4 p.m. April 11 at the ticket windows on the south side of Gallagher-Iba Arena. Doors open at 6 p.m. Limited seating is available on a first come, first served basis.