This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Academy of Honor's creation by the state legislature on Oct. 29, 1965. With membership limited to 100 distinguished citizens of the state, the academy bestows honor and recognition upon living Alabamians for their outstanding accomplishments and services.
The inductees also included former Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington Jr.; Gen. Charles Krulak, retired president of Birmingham-Southern College; Caroline Novak, president and co-founder of A+ Education Partnership; and Randy Owen, lead vocalist of the band Alabama.
Jackson, a native of Bessemer, won the Heisman Trophy in 1985 and lettered in football, baseball and track while at Auburn. He became the first professional athlete to be selected as an all-star in two sports when he played for the Kansas City Royals and the Los Angeles Raiders. Jackson has been active with charities and established the Bo Jackson's Give Me A Chance Foundation in 2008. After devastating tornadoes hit Alabama in 2011, he formed Bo Bikes Bama, an annual bike ride to raise money to build community storm shelters.
"Bo Jackson was the best-known athlete in the world during his prime, and we've all seen countless highlights of the amazing things he did on the football field, the baseball field and the track at Auburn and beyond," said Jay Jacobs, Auburn athletics director. "It's great to see his athletic contributions, but more importantly his good works to make the world a better place be recognized by the Alabama Academy of Honor. Bo is a treasure not just for Auburn, but for the entire state. I'm honored to call him a teammate and friend."
Harbert, namesake of Auburn's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, has served as chairman and chief executive officer of Harbert Management Corporation since it was organized in 1993. In addition to serving on Auburn's board, he serves on the board of the Robert Meyer Foundation, Children's Hospital of Alabama and the Birmingham Business Alliance. He is also a member of the President's Advisory Board of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
"Raymond Harbert's induction into the Alabama Academy of Honor is certainly fitting given the fact that he has distinguished himself as a business leader in Alabama with a strong global reputation," said Bill Hardgrave, dean of Auburn's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.
"However, what makes him especially deserving of this honor is his humanity and his commitment to helping others. In addition to his service with the Robert Meyer Foundation and Children's Hospital of Alabama, he has been generous in his support of higher education. Our college has benefited from his spirit of philanthropy, but the ultimate beneficiaries are future generations of students and Auburn University as a whole."