Campus News

Medgar Wiley Evers honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom

By Nick Masuda |

On May 3, 2024, President Joe Biden honored Medgar Wiley Evers posthumously with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

His daughter, Reena, accepted the award on behalf of the family.

In a release from the White House, Evers and his wife, Myrlie, were celebrated, with the statement reading:

Medgar Evers (d. 1963) fought for his country in World War II and returned home to lead the fight against segregation in Mississippi. After he was murdered at his home at age 37, his wife Myrlie continued the fight to seek justice and equality in his name.”

According to the White House, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors.

Evers was honored alongside 18 others, including: 

  • Michael R. Bloomberg 
  • Gregory J. Boyle
  • James E. Clyburn 
  • Elizabeth Dole 
  • Phil Donahue 
  • Al Gore 
  • Clarence B. Jones
  • John Forbes Kerry
  • Frank R. Lautenberg (posthumous)
  • Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky 
  • Opal Lee 
  • Ellen Ochoa 
  • Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi 
  • Jane Rigby 
  • Teresa Romero 
  • Judy Shepard 
  • James Francis Thorpe (posthumous) 
  • Michelle Yeoh

Evers’ commitment to social justice in the face of daunting and life-threatening obstacles is the catalyst to why Medgar Evers College was founded — a university committed to its community and championing both voices and actions in advocating for the underrepresented.

The college was established on July 30, 1970 and officially named for Medgar Wiley Evers on September, 28, 1970 — the latter becoming known as Founders Day. 

Congratulations to the Evers family, we take immense pride in representing your legacy — now rightfully honored amongst the greatest social justice leaders in history.