Tennis Champion and LGBTQIA+ Advocate Billie Jean King to Speak at UCSD


Emma Stone and Steve Carell as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

Written by:

Former World Tennis champion Billie Jean King will speak at UC San Diego on May 23 in a ceremonial event at Price Center for the upcoming release of a new U.S. postal stamp in honor of astronaut Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space.

King will be joined by the U.S. Postal Service Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President, Kristin Seaver, along with astronaut Ellen Ochoa and Ride’s life partner, executive director of Sally Ride Science Tam O’Shaughnessy.

In 1983, Ride was the First American Woman to fly into space aboard the space shuttle Challenger. She would later join the faculty at UCSD and found the Sally Ride Science education group, which promotes education in STEAM with a special focus on young women.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

A close friend of Ride’s, King is primarily known for her 20 victories at Wimbledon, 39 Grand Slam Titles, and the 1973 defeat of Bobby Riggs in the famous “Battle of the Sexes” competition, which was turned into a movie with Emma Stone and Steve Carell in 2017.

Ochoa is a San Diego State University alumni who earned her bachelor’s degree in Physics. She would later go on to fly four missions aboard the Challenger with Ride, and she currently serves as the Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Chancellor Pradeep Khosla and Vice Chancellor of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Becky Petitt will also participate in the celebration of the new Sally Ride Forever Stamp, which is open to the general public.

Following the ceremony, there will be a women’s leadership conference featuring King, Ochoa, as well as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who has barred news media from attending the discussion.

Kathleen Lee is a contributing writer at The Triton. You can follow her at @Katleenlee

This article was corrected on April 20 at 4:40 p.m. with updated information on speakers at the Sally Ride Stamp Ceremony.