As the Olympic Games spotlight some of the world’s best athletes, the Catholic University of America has announced plans to honor an award-winning football player who also champions the Catholic faith.
Philip Rivers, a Pro Bowl quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, will address the graduating class and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at CUA’s commencement exercises in May, according to the University’s website.
Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle will receive an honorary Doctor of Theology degree and will be the main celebrant at the baccalaureate Mass. Cardinal Tagle is an alumnus of CUA, having earned a licentiate in sacred theology and a doctorate in theology from the University.
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.
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