It’s that time of year when students get ready to graduate and move on to the next phase of their lives. At colleges and universities, it has become customary to award honorary degrees to individuals who have made great contributions to a particular field or to society as a whole.
In 1957, both Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King, Jr., were awarded honorary degrees from Howard University. Robinson also earned honorary degrees from the University of Maryland, Bethune-Cookman University, Franklin Pierce College, Sacred Heart University, and Pace University.
Since Sunday was Jackie Robinson Day, I did not identify a “Best of the Week” for last week – but better late than never! On Sunday, the Washington Nationals celebrated Jackie Robinson Day and Black Heritage Day. Throwing out the first pitch was another civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis. The celebration was definitely the best of the week!
The Jackie Robinson Foundation “perpetuates the memory of American hero Jackie Robinson by addressing the achievement gap in higher education” and provides “college and graduate school scholarships as well as leadership development opportunities for highly motivated students of color with limited financial resources.”
What are their stats?
Founded in 1973, the Foundation is now 45 years old.
Over the years, there have been 1,500 JRF Scholars, 98% of whom have graduated from college.
The Foundation has awarded $75 million in grants.
The scholars have attend 260 different colleges and universities.
39% attend public colleges and universities, 37% attend private schools, 15% attend Ivy League Schools, and 9% attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Last year, the Los Angeles Dodgers unveiled a new statue of Jackie Robinson outside the stadium. As the 70th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball was observed across MLB, the Dodgers’ celebrated his legacy and impact on baseball and society with much fanfare – including the installation of this amazing statue.
My main goal in visiting Dodger Stadium a few weeks ago was to see this statue. It is truly awe-inspiring. The remarkably detailed statue shows Robinson sliding home. On the base of the statue are several quotes from Robinson including one of my favorites, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
Check out the video below from CBS News documenting the event.