San Diego Chargers’ Philip Rivers to give commencement address at Catholic University; Cardinal Tagle to be honored

San Diego Chargers’ Philip Rivers to give commencement address at Catholic University; Cardinal Tagle to be honored February 15, 2014

From the university’s press release:

Philip Rivers, Pro Bowl quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, will address the Class of 2014 at the 125th Annual Commencement Ceremony of The Catholic University of America on May 17.

CUA will award honorary degrees to Rivers and to Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, at Commencement.

A devout Catholic, Rivers combines a tough training and playing schedule with the practice of his faith and his family life.

Rivers attended North Carolina State University, where he started 51 straight games and completed a conference record 1,147 passes, with 95 touchdowns. In each of his four years, he led his team to a postseason bowl game, and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player each time. When he graduated from NC State in 2003, the University retired his number.

Rivers came to the Chargers in 2004 and has been the starting quarterback since 2006. He holds numerous team franchise records, has taken the Chargers to the playoffs five times, and has been honored with five Pro Bowl invitations. An all-out competitor, he played the entire 2007 AFC Championship game with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which later required surgery.

Rivers finds time to attend Mass before every game. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Tiffany. They have seven children. He and his wife have been active in charity work that involves abandoned and orphaned children.

“In considering whom to invite as our Commencement speaker, the University is happy to find a role model who can inspire our graduates and deliver a message appropriate to this milestone in their lives,” said CUA President John Garvey. “Philip Rivers is just such a person. He is a great athlete and a fierce competitor. He is also someone who cares even more about his faith and his family than he does about football. We are delighted to have him as our 2014 Commencement speaker,” said Garvey.

Rivers will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Cardinal Tagle will receive an honorary Doctor of Theology degree. He is a double alumnus of The Catholic University of America, having earned a licentiate in sacred theology in 1987 and a doctorate in theology in 1991.

He will also be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Baccalaureate Mass for graduating students on the day before Commencement.

“The Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine is typically packed to capacity for the Baccalaureate Mass, with thousands of students and their parents. It is one of the most memorable occasions in the collegiate experience at our University. It will be especially so this year with one of our distinguished alumni as the main celebrant,” said Garvey.

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