Tagliabue to UDC Grads: Make Humanity Your Career
Paul Tagliabue, chair of Georgetown's board of directors, received honors from another local university on May 8 when he delivered the commencement address at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC).
A 1962 Georgetown alumnus, Tagliabue also received an honorary degree from UDC. The honorary doctor of laws degree salutes Tagliabue's contributions to society in sports and law, including his term as NFL commissioner, membership on the U.S. Olympic Committee and the U.S. Council of Foreign Relations and his service as a policy analyst for the Department of Defense.
The degree citation said he had "served the worlds of higher education and public policy with equal distinction."
Humanity as Career
In his keynote address, Tagliabue called UDC -- Washington, D.C.'s only public university -- an inspiration to the city. He called himself a "son of this city," and traced major events in national history that unfolded near the university, such as the March on Washington.
The former NFL commissioner told the 482 graduates to "make a career out of humanity," as Martin Luther King Jr. once urged. He pointed to inspirational athletes and coaches who lived out King's advice -- including Wilma Rudolph, the first American woman track athlete to win three Olympic gold medals; Grambling State University football coach Eddie Robinson, who broke through racial barriers; and the New Orleans Saints, who decided to stay in the city post-Hurricane Katrina.
"Each of these figures has had a catalyzing effect on society, and has moved the needle for social justice, by developing their particular interests and vocations in ways that make a larger social impact," Tagliabue said. "Dr. King and UDC believe that you can do this too."
(May 10, 2010)
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