Program Board paid $12,000 and $10,650 respectively to bring Dominique Dawes and Iliza Schlesinger to Central Michigan University.
Dawes, who won multiple national championships along with her Olympic medals during her 18-year career, gave an inspiring speech detailing her life, struggles and triumphs, emphasizing the power of the mind and an individual’s ability to overcome any obstacle.
Dawes is the only U.S. Olympic gymnast to win medals in three consecutive team gymnastics competitions. She was also a member of the famously known “Magnificent Seven,” who won the U.S its first gold medal in women’s gymnastics.
Dawes is also the co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, of which she was appointed in 2010.
Dawes’s talk attracted about 400 people to Platcha Auditorium on Sept. 11 and was considered by Program Board officials to be a successful event, regardless of the cost.
“Dominique’s lecture on Wednesday had a great message attached to it,” Program Board adviser Damon Brown said in an email. “I believe that everyone in attendance left with some good information.”
The Program Board also invited Shlesinger to Platcha Auditorium on Saturday. Shlesinger entertained a crowd of 470 students, and impressed the crowd with her sharp wit and improvisational humor.
Schlesinger is a stand-up comedian, who won the sixth season of “Last Comic Standing” and also hosts the syndicated dating show “Excused.”
The two performances were less expensive than some past Program Board events. Last year’s Rodney Atkins concert cost Program Board $66,000.