Justice, former NFL player to give keynote for Martin Luther King Day event at EMU, Jan. 16
YPSILANTI - When Alan Page roamed the frozen tundra for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1970s, he was one of the NFL’s most fearsome defensive tackles of his time. Today, Page lays down the law to protect children as that state’s first African-American Supreme Court Justice.
Luncheon tickets go on sale Nov. 30 and can be purchased by calling the Convocation Center Box Office at 487-2282. Tickets are $32 for individuals and $15 for EMU students.
“I really do think he is a perfect match for our campus. The guy’s a terrific role model,” said Melissa Ginotti, assistant director, Campus Life programs. “First, he was a terrific athlete with the Minnesota Vikings. While he was doing that, he was laying the groundwork in law school to segue into a different career, one where he could give back to the community. I think he’s a man of action. I think that’s a wonderful message for MLK Day.”
Known for his staunch defense as a member of the famed “Purple People Eaters,” the Minnesota Vikings’ fierce defensive unit of the ‘70s, Page played in four Super Bowls with the Vikings. He finished his 14-year career with the Chicago Bears, retiring in 1981.
He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. His accomplishments include playing in 236 straight games; being named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1971 and its Defensive Player of the Year in 1971 and 1973; was named All-NFL six times and second-team All-NFL three other times; and selected to nine straight Pro Bowls.
During his career, he recorded 173 sacks, 28 blocked kicks and recovered 23 fumbles.
Page’s law career actually began during his NFL-playing days when he had the foresight to attend law school at the University of Minnesota at the height of his football career. When he retired from the game in 1981, he went to work for a Minnesota law firm before being appointed special assistant attorney general in Minnesota. In 1987, he became assistant attorney general and, in 1993, he became associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Page is now an ardent defender of equal education for all children. In 1988, he established the Page Education Foundation to provide college tuition for underprivileged students. For the 2003-04 academic year, the foundation produced 565 Page Scholars. The foundation requires its scholars to spend a minimum of four hours per month teaching or tutoring younger students.
Page received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Minnesota and his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame. He also has received three honorary degrees. The recipient of numerous athletic and humanitarian awards, Page likes to think of football as a past chapter in his life.
“If I could choose a way to be remembered, it wouldn’t be my association with football,” said Page. "Football is the past — a good past, but I’d want to be remembered for children — my children and other children.”
For more informaton, call McKenny Union, Campus Life and Diversity Programs at 487.3045.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.
Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.
Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.