Auburn University football great Bo Jackson and Board of Trustees member Raymond Harbert were among the six inductees into the Alabama Academy of Honor Monday at the Capitol in Montgomery.
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
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."