LA MIRADA, CALIF. — After seven years, countless surgeries and perseverance through suffering, Tokyo 2021 Paralympian Morgan Stickney will graduate from Biola University on May 5, 2023.

Stickney started college in 2016 ranked as a top-20 American freestyle swimmer and swam on Biola’s swim team as a freshman in 2016. Soon after, pain from a previously broken sesamoid bone in her left big toe quickly worsened leaving her unable to compete or swim. In 2017, she developed a staph infection in her foot and the then-20-year-old made the difficult decision to amputate her foot.

Just weeks after her surgery, Stickney was in the pool again. However, similar pain started in her right foot due to a mysterious cardiovascular condition that blocked blood flow to her lower legs. Stickney had to amputate her right foot and became a bilateral amputee.

Stickney kept training and won two Paralympic gold medals in the 400-meter freestyle and 4x100-meter medley relay for the United States in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Recently, she set a new American record in the women’s S7 400 freestyle at the 2023 Citi Para Swimming World Series in Minneapolis. Throughout her training and suffering through surgeries and recovery, she continued to work on her college degree.

“Morgan’s courage, perseverance and deep faith in God have helped her persevere, and we are honored to present her with her hard-earned degree,” said Dr. Barry H. Corey, President of Biola.

Stickney will graduate with a B.S. in Applied Psychology on May 5, 2023 at 7 p.m.

CEO of the YouVersion Bible App, Bobby Gruenewald, is the commencement speaker for both of Biola’s Spring Commencement ceremonies. Gruenewald serves on the Leadership Team at Life.Church as the Pastor, Innovation Leader and Founder.

For those unable to attend in person, a live stream of the ceremonies will be available on the Biola website, and on Biola’s Facebook.

For more information or press passes, please contact Sarah Dougher, media relations coordinator, at

FOR MEDIA: Upon arrival to campus, please call (949) 521-1829.

Biola University

13800 Biola Ave.

La Mirada, CA 90639