Sports Icon and Humanitarian Billie Jean King is Simmons College's 2014 Commencement Speaker, May 9

Feb 27, 2014, 14:00 ET from Simmons College

BOSTON, Feb. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sports icon and humanitarian Billie Jean King will deliver the Simmons College 109th Commencement address Friday, May 9, at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston.

King won 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles in her legendary tennis career and defeated Bobby Riggs in the much anticipated "Battle of the Sexes," a historic match that changed the playing field for gender equality. King will serve as the keynote speaker for the 10 a.m. undergraduate ceremony. A separate ceremony for graduate schools at 2 p.m. features keynote speaker David Weinberger, Ph.D., an expert on the intersection of technology and human interaction who co-directs the Harvard Library and Innovation Lab and is a senior researcher at Harvard's Berkman Center for the Internet & Society.

The college will be live tweeting from the ceremony at @SimmonsCollege and #SIMS14.

King is a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, and has been named one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century" by LIFE magazine. Recently, King was named a member of the U.S. Presidential delegation to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

King successfully fought for equal prize money for male and female tennis players, and helped open opportunities for all professional athletes. She founded the Women's Tennis Association, the Women's Sports Foundation, and Women's Sports magazine; and co-founded World TeamTennis.

In 1999, Weinberger and three friends created, which explained the Internet as a social place where people interact and share what matters to them. Their work was turned into the book The Cluetrain Manifesto, which InformationWeek.

In addition to King and Weinberger, also receiving honorary doctoral degrees are Dr. Madeleine M. Joullié, an internationally recognized champion of women in chemistry; and Ruth Ellen Fitch, a former president and CEO at The Dimock Center, former partner at a top Boston law firm, educator, and champion for the underserved.

Simmons College is a nationally ranked university located in Boston with a focus on leadership development and social responsibility. It offers undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in nursing and health sciences, liberal arts, library and information science, social work, as well as the nation's first MBA program designed for women. Follow Simmons on Twitter @SimmonsCollege and @SimmonsNews.

SOURCE Simmons College