Carmelita Jeter

Honorary Degrees


California State University, Dominguez Hills​

As a three-time Olympic medalist and world record holder - remaining the fastest woman alive - California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) alumna Carmelita Jeter is one of the most accomplished female track and field athletes in the United States.

Born and raised in Southern California, Ms. Jeter started her athletic career at Torrance’s Bishop Montgomery High School as a member of the basketball team. In order to stay fit during the off-season, Ms. Jeter tried out for the track and field team. From the moment she stepped onto the track, her incredible sprinting talent was impossible to ignore.

Ms. Jeter enrolled at CSUDH, where she became the most decorated female athlete in university history. She set five CSUDH records that still stand, and won six All-America awards. Ms. Jeter graduated in 2006, with her bachelor’s degree in physical education.

Ms. Jeter entered the professional track and field circuit in 2007, taking home her first medal in the 100 meters at the 2007 World Championships. In 2009, at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, Ms. Jeter finished with a winning time of 10.64 seconds, giving her a spot in history as the second-fastest woman ever in the 100 meters.

At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, she anchored the U.S. Olympic 4 x 100m team that took home gold by smashing the previous world record by more than half of a second. Ms. Jeter also became one of the few U.S. athletes to medal in the 100 and 200 meter races in the same Olympic Games. Ms. Jeter was named the Los Angeles Sports Woman of the Year and received the USA Track and Field Association’s Jesse Owens Award, the highest accolade in the sport.

Ms. Jeter retired from professional competition in 2017. She is currently the assistant track and field coach at Missouri State University and a frequent motivational speaker on the power of determination and following one’s dreams.

In addition to her success on the track, Ms. Jeter is deeply involved in community and philanthropic efforts, particularly those focused on health and fitness. She has organized community track clinics for youth and served as the official ambassador for the Healthy Compton initiative, a citywide program designed to promote healthy lifestyle choices.

When her aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, Ms. Jeter used her platform as a record-setting athlete to raise awareness, collaborating with Nike on hot pink spikes that she wore in competition. In 2015, she was named the official ambassador for Susan G. Komen’s California Circle of Promise Initiative, designed to promote breast cancer awareness among African American women.

In recognition of her incredible athletic achievements, her continued contributions to the sport of track and field, her dedication to her community and her success as a speaker and businesswoman, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Dominguez Hills are proud to confer upon Ms. Carmelita Jeter the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.