After 22 years on the Minnesota Supreme Court, Alan Page will soon hit the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Page began his journey to success in the NFL, playing for 15 years and becoming the first defensive player in history to receive an MVP award.
But as the first African-American to ever be on the Minnesota Supreme Court, we should remember him for more than just his successful football career.
Even during his football career, Page made it a priority to study law. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota in 1978. Since his childhood, one of Page’s main focuses has been the education of children.
After being recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his hometown of Canton, Ohio, Page also made a point to speak on the importance of giving children a chance to earn their dreams.
Keeping his dream in mind, Page and his wife, Diane, launched the Page Education Foundation in 1988, which offers grants to students of color. So far, the program has awarded $12 million in grants to 6,000 students of color.
The Page Education Foundation has even opened up educational opportunities for a very close friend of mine. Without the program, his college career would be farther out of reach.
Since his introduction into the public eye, Page has established himself as a man who breaks down barriers and creates bridges.
What we should remember about Page’s career is the opportunities he opened for students and the examples he set for future athletes, law students and educators.