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Red Sox President Larry Lucchino to Give Commencement Address

Year in Review: 2008

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Through December 24, BU Today is looking back at the mostpopular stories of the year. We’ll be back with new stories for the newyear on Monday, January 5. Happy holidays!

Larry Lucchino, president and chief executive officer of the Boston RedSox, will deliver the main address at Boston University’s 135thCommencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18. University President Robert A.Brown announced the Commencement and the Baccalaureate speakers, aswell as this year’s honorary degree recipients, at theannual Senior Breakfast in the George Sherman Union.

Lucchino, a member of the ownership group that bought the Red Sox in2002, has helped transform a “cursed” franchise into a team with twoWorld Series titles in the past four seasons.

After graduating from Princeton in 1967, where he played on thebasketball team with Bill Bradley (who went on to the NBA and then theU.S. Senate), Lucchino attended Yale Law School. He graduated in 1972and began his legal career working on the Watergate impeachmenthearings alongside Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Soon after, he went to work for famed Washington, D.C., trial attorneyEdward Bennett Williams, who owned the Washington Redskins. Lucchinodid a substantial amount of legal work for the Redskins and for theBaltimore Orioles, which Williams purchased in 1979. Eventually,Lucchino was hired as the Orioles’ president and CEO and led the effortto build the team a new ballpark — Camden Yards, which opened in 1992.He then went on to become president of the San Diego Padres, where heoversaw the building of another ballpark.

Early on in his tenure as Red Sox president, Lucchino endearedhimself to fans by committing to improving Fenway Park rather thanrazing it. He also publicly sparred with Yankees owner GeorgeSteinbrenner, famously calling the rival organization the “evil empire”in a 2002 New York Times interview.

In six years of guiding the Red Sox business operations, he hasincreased the value of the franchise from about $380 million to $816million, according to Forbes magazine.More important to fans, in 2004 he fulfilled his pledge to bring thecity its first World Series title since 1918, and a second one threeyears later.

Lucchino will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws at BU’sCommencement. Receiving Doctors of Humane Letters are Earle M. Chiles,president of Earle Chiles and Affiliated Companies, a BU trusteeemeritus, and a member of the University’s Board of Overseers; Millard“Mickey” Drexler (GSM’68), chairman and CEO of J. Crew Group, Inc., anda 2006 BU Alumni Award recipient; Baccalaureate speaker William H.Hayling, a physician who cofounded 100 Black Men, an organizationdesigned to improve the quality of life for African-Americans and otherminorities; and Billie Jean King, the tennis legend who won 39 GrandSlam singles, doubles, and mixed doubles tennis titles and who was aleader in the movement to bring professionalism and gender equity tothe sport.

Chris Berdik can be reached at cberdik@bu.edu.

This story originally ran May 2, 2008.

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