Monday, May 17, 2010

Packers legendary QB Bart Starr becomes a doctor

Well, an honorary kind of doctor, that is.

During graduation ceremonies yesterday at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI (neighboring community to Green Bay), legendary Packers quarterback Bart Starr and his wife, Cherry, received Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees "in recognition of living as examples of the Norbertine value of service to their community," according to a news report in the Green Bay Press-Gazette about the ceremony.

No need to recount the on-field exploits and honors of the leader of the Glory Years Packers. The Hall of Famer didn't wait for retirement, however, to begin charting his works of charity. In 1965, Bart and Cherry were instrumental in helping found Rawhide Ranch, which is a faith-based, nonprofit, residential care center for troubled teen boys near New London, WI. The Starrs are still involved in fundraising and other activities for the Ranch. The Starrs have also been involved since the beginning (1970) with the Vince Lombardi Memorial Golf Classic and the Vince Lombardi Charitable Fund in its fight against cancer.

Good folks doing very good work indeed. Nice of St. Norbert College to recognize the Starrs' years of service to the wider community. What's so special about St. Norbert College? For those who don't know, it has hosted the Packers summer training camp since the days of Lombardi himself. And, it is also one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the Midwest if not the nation.

But the college's connection with the Packers runs deeper than just that. They are joining together to present “A Mirror of Our Culture: Sport and Society in America," a three-day event running May 26-28, that, according to the website, "provides opportunities for sports academics and professionals working in sports-related fields to network and to share their expertise about American sports." Among those attending and speaking: Paul Tagliabue, former Commissioner (CEO) of the National Football League, and Carl Vogel, Partner of SCP Worldwide, who will "give major addresses offering their perspective on 'Sports in America' and 'The Future of American Sports.' Dr. Robert Kustra, President of Boise State University, will be presenting 'Modern College Athletics: A View from the Top.' Also, Kevin B. Blackistone of ESPN’s 'Around the Horn' and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, will be speaking on 'Race and Sports in America.'"

Registration runs through May 19.