Red Sox President Larry Lucchino to Give Commencement Address
CEO fulfilled pledge to bring Boston its first World Series title since 1918
Larry Lucchino, president and chief executive officer of the Boston Red Sox, will deliver the main address at Boston University’s 135th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18. University President Robert A. Brown announced the Commencement and the Baccalaureate speakers, as well as this year’s honorary degree recipients, at this morning’s annual Senior Breakfast in the George Sherman Union.
Lucchino, a member of the ownership group that bought the Red Sox in 2002, has helped transform a “cursed” franchise into a team with two World Series titles in the past four seasons.
After graduating from Princeton in 1967, where he played on the basketball team with Bill Bradley (who went on to the NBA and then the U.S. Senate), Lucchino attended Yale Law School. He graduated in 1972 and began his legal career working on the Watergate impeachment hearings alongside Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Soon after, he went to work for famed Washington, D.C., trial attorney Edward Bennett Williams, who owned the Washington Redskins. Lucchino did a substantial amount of legal work for the Redskins and for the Baltimore Orioles, which Williams purchased in 1979. Eventually, Lucchino was hired as the Orioles’ president and CEO and led the effort to 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 he oversaw the building of another ballpark.
Early on in his tenure as Red Sox president, Lucchino endeared himself to fans by committing to improving Fenway Park rather than razing it. He also publicly sparred with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, 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 has increased the value of the franchise from about $380 million to $816 million, according to Forbes magazine. More important to fans, in 2004 he fulfilled his pledge to bring the city its first World Series title since 1918, and a second one three years later.
Lucchino will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws at BU’s Commencement. Receiving Doctors of Humane Letters are Earle M. Chiles, president of Earle Chiles and Affiliated Companies, a BU trustee emeritus, and a member of the University’s Board of Overseers; Millard “Mickey” Drexler (GSM’68), chairman and CEO of J. Crew Group, Inc., and a 2006 BU Alumni Award recipient; Baccalaureate speaker William H. Hayling, a physician who cofounded 100 Black Men, an organization designed to improve the quality of life for African-Americans and other minorities; and Billie Jean King, the tennis legend who won 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles, and mixed doubles tennis titles and who was a leader in the movement to bring professionalism and gender equity to the sport.
Chris Berdik can be reached at email@example.com Comments