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Release: May 14, 2002

Minn. Supreme Court Justice Page to deliver Law School address

NFL Hall of Famer and Minnesota State Supreme Court Justice Alan Page will deliver the University of Iowa College of Law's commencement address during the school's graduation ceremony at Hancher Auditorium 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18.

Provost Jon Whitmore will confer 205 degrees during the ceremony. One of the degree recipients will be Page's son, Justin Page.

Alan Page graduated from Central Catholic High School in Canton, Ohio, and from the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a B.A. in political science in 1967. It was at Notre Dame that Page also began to make a name for himself as a football player.

Page played professional football for nearly 15 years, first with the Minnesota Vikings and then with the Chicago Bears. He was nine times named All-Pro defensive tackle and in 1971 he became the first defensive player in NFL history to receive the Most Valuable Player award.

In 1988, Page was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in a ceremony in his hometown. For the event Page chose as his presenter not a coach or fellow football player as is traditional among inductees but the principal of an inner-city school in Minneapolis. Rather than reliving his glory days in football, Page spoke about what education meant to him.

That same year Page established the Page Education Foundation as part of his continuing commitment to the education of young people of color. He believed that the educational system was failing to reach many minority youth, and that the youth and their parents gave up hope of a better life through education.

Page also recognized the importance of his own education. While playing football, he attended law school fulltime and in 1978 he earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota. In 1979 he began practicing law with a Minnesota firm.

He became an assistant attorney general, served on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and in 1993 was sworn in as an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, a position he holds to this day.