Houston Texans star J.J. Watt will be given an honorary degree from Baylor College of Medicine the school announced on Thursday.  Watt and Dr. David Persse, the director of Houston Emergency Medical Services will be given the honor in May at the commencement ceremonies for their roles in helping the Houston community during and after Hurricane Harvey.

Also receiving honorary degrees are Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert Lefkowitz and Dr. Alice McPherson, a professor of ophthalmology at Baylor.

“Each year for Commencement, we choose a speaker to provide meaningful words to our graduates and we award honorary degrees to those who have made a major impact on the College, our community or academic medicine in general,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor. “Dr. Lefkowitz’s groundbreaking research in cell receptors has been recognized around the globe. Dr. McPherson’s important contributions to science were made right here in Houston, at Baylor, as a retinal specialist.”

“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. Our graduates and their families can take important lessons from all four of these honorary degree recipients,” Klotman said.


Watt has been handed plenty awards after raising $37 Million to help the recovery of his second home.  Watt started his efforts while the team was stranded in Dallas during the Hurricane hoping to raise a few hundred thousand.  Watt was awarded the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award this offseason.


the original version of this story stated that the honorary degrees were from Baylor University. We have corrected the story to state the degrees are being honored by the Baylor College Of Medicine.


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