Timothy P Shriver, Ph.D, chairman of Special Olympics, is the recipient of the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s Distinguished American award.
The Walter Camp “Distinguished American” award is presented each year to an individual who has utilized his or her talents to attain great success in business, private life or public service and who may have accomplished that which no other has done. He or she may have a record of dedication to mankind that should not pass unrecognized and a life that has been dedicated to the preservation of the American ideal. The recipient need not have participated in football but must be one who understands its lesson of self-denial, cooperation and teamwork, and one who is a person of honesty, integrity and dedication. He or she must be a leader, an innovator, even a pioneer, who has reached a degree of excellence that distinguishes him or her from contemporaries, as well as someone who lives within the principles of Walter Camp.
Past recipients of the Walter Camp Distinguished American honor include nationally-respected sportscasters Pat Summerall (2004) and Keith Jackson (1995), all-purpose television personality Regis Philbin (2003), former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (1994), world-renowned entertainer Bob Hope (1985), former college coach Eddie Robinson (1982) and last year’s recipient, sports broadcasting legend Verne Lundquist.
“Tim Shriver is a perfect example of what the Distinguished American award symbolizes,” Foundation President Robert Kauffman said. “His passion, leadership and example have transformed Special Olympics into a worldwide influencer of what is good in our society.”
Since 1996, Shriver has grown Special Olympics into a respected, global organization, transforming it into a movement that focuses on acceptance, inclusion and respect for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Under his leadership, Special Olympics programs have been created in athlete leadership, cross-cultural research, health, education, and family support. Among them, Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® has become the world’s largest public health examination and education program for people with intellectual disabilities, and Special Olympics Get Into It®, together with Unified Sports®, promotes inclusion and acceptance around the world.
As part of his passion for promoting the gifts of the forgotten, Shriver has harnessed the power of Hollywood to share the stories of inspiration and change.
Before joining Special Olympics, Shriver was and remains a leading educator focusing on the social and emotional factors in learning. He co-founded and currently chairs the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading research organization in the field of social and emotional learning.
A graduate of Yale University, Shriver earned a master’s degree in Religious Education from Catholic University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Connecticut. He resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife and five children.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation (www.waltercamp.org, @WalterCampFF) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team. The Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s website, www.ncfaa.org