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Robert Kraft to Keynote YU Commencement

Philanthropist and New England Patriots Owner to Deliver Commencement Address, Receive Honorary Degree 

Having already won four Vince Lombardi Trophies, Robert K. Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, will add another honor to his collection. Yeshiva University will confer upon Kraft, founder, chairman and CEO of The Kraft Group, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at its 85th Commencement on Wednesday, May 25, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He will also deliver the commencement address to the hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students receiving their degrees and the thousands of celebrants during the ceremony.

“Robert Kraft represents not only success in business, but is a true Jewish leader who embodies our values of kindness, goodness, generosity to the broader community and tremendous support for the State of Israel,” said Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel. “His success on and off the field, his profound humanity, his willingness to stand up for the Jewish people and Jewish causes make him an ideal role model for our students.”

President Joel noted that Kraft and his family have been staunchly committed to the betterment of humanity, with more than $100 million of philanthropic dollars making a profound impact on numerous institutions and organizations from small grass roots causes to major universities. The family's efforts on a broad sense have focused on education, healthcare, women's issues and youth sports.

Kraft is well regarded for his dedication to Israel. Memorably, the Patriots observed a moment of silence following the tragic murder of Ezra Schwartz, a Sharon, Massachusetts native studying in Israel, at a Monday Night Football game in November.

Since taking ownership of the Patriots in 1994, Kraft has led the franchise to more division titles, conference crowns and Super Bowl championships than any other NFL team. He joins a list of notable YU honorary degree recipients, including United States Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel.

For more information about Yeshiva University’s 85th Commencement visit