Syracuse will honor one of their legends in former star running back Jim Brown, the university announced on Wednesday. Brown will be honored by the Syracuse University Alumni Associated with the 2016 Arents Award at a ceremony during Orange Central Weekend (September 15-18).
The Arents Award is the highest alumni honor bestowed by the University. The award is being given to Brown of his excellence in both athletics and social activism.
More from a release from Syracuse Athletics:
The Arents Award is named after George Arents, a successful manufacturer who served on the University Board of Trustees from 1930 until his death in 1960. Brown joins, James Cunningham, Dr. Robert Jarvik and Arielle Tepper Madover as recipients of this year’s award for excellence and innovation in their chosen fields.
This year’s Arents Award celebration is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 16 in the Goldstein Auditorium at the Schine Student Center.
A native of Manhasset, N.Y., Brown wore No. 44 for the Orange football team for three seasons (1954-56) and is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes in history. He was a four-sport star at Syracuse, playing football, lacrosse, basketball and competing in track & field. Brown earned first-team All-America honors in football in 1956 and was presented with the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award in 1982.
During his nine-year NFL career with the Cleveland Browns, Brown led the league in rushing eight times and was a Pro Bowl selection every year. In 2002, he was named the “Greatest NFL Player” by The Sporting News. Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
At age 30, at the peak of his playing career, Brown retired from professional football to concentrate on acting. He has more than 40 film credits to his name, including “The Dirty Dozen” and “Any Given Sunday.” In 2002, Spike Lee released the film “Jim Brown: All-American,” documenting Brown’s life.
As a social activist, Brown supported Africa-American causes by helping to create the Negro Industrial Economic Union in the 1960s and founded the Amer-I-Can program in the 1980s, which strives to turn around the lives of young gang members.
In June 2016, Brown was inducted into the inaugural class of the U.S. Army ROTC National Half of Fame. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant through Army ROTC following his graduation from the University, then continued his military training commitment while playing in the NFL. He was honorably discharged from the Army Reserves with the rank of captain.