Commencement May 17, 2009
Honorary Degree: Doctor of Letters
Conferred on Dick Enberg
Candidate presented by: Ms. Phylis Ravel, Artistic Associate Professor of Performing Arts
Dick Enberg, an icon of sports broadcasting, is in his 10th year with CBS-TV Sports following 25 years with NBC-TV Sports. He has earned a series of national honors and awards, including 14 Emmy Awards, 15 Sportscaster of the Year Awards, the Ronald Reagan Media Award and the Victor Award for the top sportscaster of the past 40 years. His versatility is reflected in the fact that he is the only person to win a series of national Emmy Awards as a sportscaster, write, and producer. In 2000 he was honored with a national Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Enberg received the prestigious Curt Gowdy Media Award from the National Basketball Hall of Fame and the Pete Rozelle Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. In recognition of his excellence in broadcasting, Enberg became in 1998 the fourth sportscaster to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Enberg was described as NBC’s “decathlete” for the wide range of events he has reported. His play-by-play assignments include: Super Bowl, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl; World Series, American and National League playoffs; French Open, Wimbledon; NCAA basketball finals; heavyweight boxing championships; U.S. Open Golf championship, Ryder Cup; NBA playoffs and NBA All-star Games. Along with football, baseball, tennis, golf, basketball and boxing, his assignments have also included gymnastics, figure skating, Breeder’s Cup horse racing, track and field, golf, and the Olympic Games, where his “Enberg Moments” received national acclaim. His current assignments include NCAA basketball and National Football League telecasts as well as all four major professional tennis tournaments.
Enberg began his full-time sportscasting career in 1965 in Los Angeles, becoming the radio-TV voice of the California Angels, UCLA basketball and the Los Angeles Rams. Prior to joining NBC in 1975, he was on four occasions named California Sportscaster of the Year. He hosted the long-running national series, “Sports Challenge” and served as co-producer of the Emmy-award winning PBS series, “The Way It Was.” In 1973 Enberg became the first American sportscaster to visit the People’s Republic of China, going there to cover a U.S. vs. China basketball game in Peking.
A native of Armada, Mich., Enberg began broadcasting when he was an undergraduate at Central Michigan University. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in Health Science from Indiana University, and prior to his full-time sportscasting career, he was an assistant professor and assistant baseball coach at California State University Northridge. He is currently actively involved in fundraising for higher education and has served on the Board of Directors of the State of California Community Colleges.
Enberg has recently authored Oh My!, his autobiography, as well as a best-selling book directed toward public speakers entitled Dick Enberg’s Humorous Quotes for All Occasions. His one-man play, “Don’t Undress Until You Die: The Wit and Wisdom of Al McGuire,” which premiered at Marquette’s Helfaer Theatre in 2005, has received national acclaim.
Because of his distinguished career as a broadcaster, writer, philosopher, educator and playwright, Reverend President, I hereby recommend Dick Enberg for the Marquette University Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.