Oct. 16, 2015
Jerome Bettis has an expansive list of accolades and achievements, including six Pro Bowl selections, a Super Bowl ring and the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Bettis, along with fellow Fighting Irish legend Tim Brown, will be celebrated this weekend at the University of Notre Dame for being members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015.
Bettis joined another elite group in 2007 when he was tapped as the Monogram Club’s Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award recipient. From Ray Meyer (’38, basketball), the first honoree in 1979, to Ruth Riley (’01, basketball), the 2015 recipient, the award is the Club’s highest honor and it is annually bestowed upon active Monogram Club members who have distinguished themselves in the following ways:
– Exemplary performance in local, state or national government
– Outstanding dedication to the spirit and ideals of Notre Dame
– Demonstrated responsibility to and concern for their respective communities
– Extraordinary commitment and involvement with youth
The award is named in honor of Notre Dame athletics legend Edward “Moose” Krause (1913-92), a three-sport Monogram winner in the early 1930s who earned All-America honors in football and basketball while also competing in track and field. He later served as an assistant football coach and assistant and head basketball coach at Notre Dame before becoming one of the nation’s most respected athletic directors, serving in that role at his alma mater from 1949-82.
“This award means a lot because I didn’t get to where I am alone,” Bettis said inside Notre Dame’s Heritage Hall the evening he received the award. “There were a lot of people along the way who have helped me. To receive an award for what I have been able to do to help others is important because people were able to do it for me.
“This (Notre Dame) is where it all started. Learning how to play the game and also how to live the right way. This place was so great to me. It’s meant a lot to me and it has helped me to become the man I am and to receive an award like this, says that you are on the right path, you’re doing the right thing, but you still have a ways to go.”
The exclusive fraternity Bettis joined that night in May of 2007 includes, among many others, Father Theodore Hesburgh (’39, honorary), Ara Parseghian (honorary), Dick Rosenthal (’54, basketball, baseball), Father Edward “Monk” Malloy (’63, ’67, ’69, basketball), Dr. Carol Lally Shields (’79, basketball) and former Indiana governor and South Bend mayor Joe Kernan (’68, baseball).
“To be mentioned in the same breath with the names of previous Moose Krause award winners is beyond my comprehension,” Chuck Lennon (’61, ’62 baseball), the longtime executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association, said when he received the award in 2011. “You have honored me for doing something that I’ve loved to do everyday. It’s never been a job and it’s never been work; it’s been a mission and it’s been something that I really believe is a calling.”
Marty Allen (’58, student manager) echoed those sentiments when he was presented the honor in 2013 for his countless community service efforts in Grand Rapids, Michigan and his work at Notre Dame.
“I accept the Moose Krause Award with a great deal of humility,” Allen, director emeritus and former president of the Monogram Club, said. “I knew him (Krause) well and he was a great guy. The humility also goes on to the recipients who preceded me. It’s an unbelievable list and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”
Bettis was honored for his widespread service work with troubled and underprivileged inner-city youth in Pittsburgh, where he starred for the Steelers, and his hometown of Detroit.
Other recipients have traveled the globe helping the disadvantaged. Dr. Bill Hurd (’69, track and field), the 2002 honoree and a noted eye surgeon, has performed numerous volunteer surgeries in Africa. Dr. Angelo Capozzi (’56, baseball) garnered the award in 2014 for establishing an organization, Rotaplast, which has operated on thousands of children around the world who were born with cleft lip and palate.
Riley was awarded last year’s honor for her work in Africa. Among her numerous service endeavors, she is a spokesperson for the Nothing But Nets campaign to fight malaria, co-founder of Inspire Transformation and part of the national council for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry.
Whether it’s for work done in local communities or across the world, the recipients of the Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award are the ultimate representatives of the Monogram Club.
— Sean Carroll, Monogram Club Communications Associate