MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and former Vikings player Alan Page has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump honored Page and six other recipients with the highest civilian honor in the nation.
The honor for Page, who lives in Minneapolis, comes just weeks after the loss of his wife, Diane. Page and Diane launched the Page Education Foundation in 1988. It has helped young people of color attend college for more than 30 years.
“Meeting Alan Page himself and having a chance to work with him, it’s a very fortunate thing for me,” said Anel Braziel, a current Page Scholar attending Metropolitan State University.
She says Alan and Diane Page push scholars to foster positive mentor relationships, as well as serve as role models for children.
Anel says watching her hero be honored at the White House is encouraging, but Justice Page says this recognition is not about him.
“It’s about the things Diane and I have worked to accomplish, trying to ensure educational opportunities for all children, particularly children of color,” Page said. “It is about fighting for equal justice.”
Anel says she’s thankful for Alan Page’s words of wisdom.
“What sticks with me is when he told me what you give to the world, you will receive back,” she said.
The Page Education Foundation is responsible for $15 million in education assistance for more than 7,000 students over 30 years.
Justice Page will share the Presidential Medal of Freedom with students at the middle school that is named in his honor on Monday.
Page played for the Vikings from 1967 until 1978, and was a member of the legendary “Purple People Eaters”. He was the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1972, the first defensive player to earn the honor.
He also served on the state’s Supreme Court for 22 years.
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The other recipients include doctor and philanthropist Miriam Adelson, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Roger Staubach, the Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys quarterback. Posthumous honors were granted to Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth and Antonin Scalia.