Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt will receive an honorary doctorate from Baylor for his efforts to help the Houston area recover from Hurricane Harvey.
The university announced Thursday that Watt would get a Doctor of Humanities in Medicine degree during Baylor’s commencement ceremony May 29. Along with Watt, Houston Emergency Medical Services director Dr. David Persse will also be honored.
According to Baylor, “this degree is awarded by the College to individuals who have provided exceptional support or service directly or indirectly to Baylor or to academic medicine as a whole and to the community at large.”
“In the year following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the community’s incredible response, it was most fitting to honor two community leaders who contributed in major ways, Dr. Persse and J.J. Watt,” Baylor president Paul Klotman said in a statement. “Our graduates and their families can take important lessons from these honorary degree recipients.”
Watt, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year winner, is president and founder of the Justin J. Watt Foundation, which provides opportunities for children. He helped raise more than $37 million for Harvey victims. Due to his efforts, he was named Sports Illustrated co-Sportsman of the Year and the won the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Watt has been recovering from a broken left leg suffered in Week 5 last season and is expected to be ready for the start of the 2018 season.