President Angel, I have the distinct honor of presenting Jeffrey Lurie, Academy Award-winning film producer, chairman and CEO of the Philadelphia Eagles, and member of the Clark University Class of 1973.
Mr. Lurie, it is fair to say that since you graduated from Clark, you have led an interesting life. You obtained a masters in psychology from Boston University and then a doctorate in social policy from Brandeis University. You have also taken on a wide range of roles from adjunct professor to Hollywood film executive and producer. And in 1994, you made the business decision of your life. You purchased the Philadelphia Eagles for 185 million dollars, more than anyone had paid, up to that point, for a professional sports team. Critics questioned your investment, not understanding why someone would pay so much for a struggling team, competing in a decaying stadium.
But your education, your experiences, your willingness to challenge convention and change our world, told you otherwise. Where others saw just a football team, you saw the future of sports entertainment. You seized the opportunity and rebuilt your franchise into one of the most well-run organizations in all of football. Under your leadership, your team to date, has captured eight NFC East titles, advanced to six NFC Championship games, and in 2018, you accomplished your ultimate goal of delivering the first Super Bowl victory to Philadelphia. Today, the Philadelphia Eagles are considered one of the NFL’s ten most valuable franchises.
Off the field, your altruism and your commitment to the Greater Philadelphia community are equally impressive. The Eagles Charitable Foundation has enhanced the lives of more than one million children through its health and education programs, and you have donated and raised millions for autism research. As a business leader and as a philanthropist, you have made the Eagles a model franchise not only for success but for service. Mr. Lurie, you are a champion in every sense of the word.
Mr. President, on behalf of the trustees, faculty, students, and staff of Clark University, I request that the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, be conferred on Jeffrey Lurie.