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Alabama A&M Grad Designs First Nike Shoe Inspired by Her Alma Mater

Jennifer Gray, the Alabama A&M alumna behind the new design. (Alabama A&M University)

By Curtis Venetta

Hville Blast

Alabama A&M University alumna, Jennifer Gray, has designed the first Nike shoe inspired by her alma mater. Gray’s design represents one of five Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) selected to be a part of the popular brand’s fourth YardRunner campaign.

Also included in this year’s collection, called Terminator High, is Morehouse College, Spelman College, Tuskegee University and Tennessee State University.

Gray says she was contacted by Howard University alumnus and Nike YardRunner founder Richard Palmer to take part in the new design series. She had previously participated in the YardRunner campaign in 2021.

“With tremendous honor, I am very grateful and elated to be the designer behind this project,” Gray said. “Being the first-ever AAMU shoe designer who collaborated with Nike was a thrill.”

This campaign was implemented to help increase exposure of HBCUs, so this is very exciting new for both AAMU and Gray herself who is currently a hardware engineer at Lockheed Martin in Atlanta.


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