College and Pro Football Hall of Famer and retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page is the eleventh Heisman Humanitarian Award Winner.
The award was given in recognition of Page’s tireless efforts in assisting students of color achieve their dreams in furthering their education.
“I doubt that it would have occurred to anyone when I was a student that I would have accomplished the things that I have. But the path that I have traveled is not a path exclusive to me. It is a path those of us who have been privileged by good fortune can make available to all young people without regard to their economic, social, or racial background. It is simply a matter of working to create hope and provide opportunity,” stated Justice Page.
Hailing from Canton, Ohio, Page was a defensive force that proved himself as a brilliant, aggressive defender throughout his career. Page attended the University of Notre Dame and helped lead the Irish to a National Championship during the 1966 season. After graduation, the All-American was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. Page played for an impressive 15 seasons in the NFL and played in an astounding 236 games with both the Vikings and the Bears. Page was a member of the Vikings famed Purple People Eaters.
Never one to slow down, Page also received his Law Degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978, while still playing for the Vikings. During the offseason Page was always busy, either staying in shape or working as an attorney. After his Hall of Fame Football career ended, his law career was taking off. Shortly after leaving the NFL, Page was working as an attorney in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. It was during this time that Page decided he wanted help out his community even more.
During his 1988 Hall of Fame induction speech, Page and his wife Diane launched the Page Education Foundation, a foundation built upon the need to give financial assistance and encouragement to students of color facing extraordinary odds while trying to achieve their dreams. Page recognized that education is a key to success and not everyone has the means to realize that goal. The Page Education Foundation helps students of color pursue postsecondary education. The Foundation awards grants to students who have a strong willingness to provide service to children and who have a positive outlook towards education. In return for their scholarship, each grant recipient provides 50 hours of volunteer mentoring and tutoring to children in grades K-8th in their community.
Page was elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992, becoming the first African American to hold a seat. Page was reelected three times and stepped down due to the mandatory retirement age of 70. Page is far from done impacting the community as his foundation has provided $13 million in Page Grants and his Page Scholars have volunteered over 420,000 hours to date.