Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith will be giving the commencement address at the University of Utah's 2014 graduation this May. This is a tremendous honor no matter how famous you are in your profession.
The University of Utah made the announcement in a news release yesterday.
"Smith is not only a talented athlete and accomplished student," said David W. Pershing, president of the U, "he is a standout example of class and persistence. It is no surprise that his teammates voted him the Ed Block Courage Award in 2011 as a model of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage. It is an honor to welcome Alex back to campus."
In 2007, Smith started the Alex Smith Foundation and the Alex Smith Guardian Scholars Program, which helps send foster teens to college. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the foundation is a model of sports charities, spending 91 percent of its funds on scholarships and grants. The article noted that since 2007 "...23 of the 30 foster teens who received scholarships have graduated thanks, in part, to the staggering support they've received: up to five years' tuition, year-round housing, books, mentors, career guidance, health services and living expenses."
Despite his accomplishments on the field, his charitable accomplishments might be the most impressive. According to a Boston Globe study, non-profits should give at least 65-75 percent of its proceeds to whatever cause they're involved in. The Globe examined 50 foundations and found that nearly half of them weren't hitting that benchmark.
Alex Smith's foundation spent 91 percent of its funds on their cause from 2008-2010. 91 percent! They say a large reason is because Smith, who inked a nearly $50 million deal as the No. 1 overall pick in 2005 (and will soon get paid again), contributed his own money.
The commencement speech is scheduled for May 1.
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