Richard Lapchick, director of UCF’s DeVos Sport Business Management program, will be honored Friday by Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Center with the Harvard Impact Global Health Catalyst Distinguished Leader Award for his work with cognitive and behavioral health in sports.
Lapchick, a human-rights activist, proponent of racial equality and an internationally recognized expert on sports issues, will be presented the award along with Fred Luthans, a distinguished professor emeritus in management at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Lapchick said the award “is an acknowledgement of many leaders I have worked with who know that all forms of discrimination destroy mental health and it is up to us all to heal those wounds.”
The award recognizes individuals who exemplify transformational leadership, public service and social engagement. It will be presented at the Global Health Catalyst summit dinner in Boston.
Will Ngwa, co-director of the Harvard program, said both men had “immeasurable impact on human rights, behavior in the practices of sports and business globally.”
“Dr. Lapchick and Luthans are unquestionably among some of the most influential educators in the world, through their own influential publications, and through the influence of their scholarship,” said Ngwa. “Their impact has reached sports, business, university and social communities throughout the United States and internationally.”
Lapchick is founder of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport and is president and CEO of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport. He is internationally known for his fight against apartheid in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, leading a boycott of South Africa in international sporting events. For his work, he received a personal invitation from Nelson Mandela to his 1994 presidential inauguration.
Lapchick also was named as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sport by the Sporting News.
The DeVos program at UCF has been named one of the nation’s top five sport business management programs by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes and ESPN The Magazine. In 2015, SportBusiness International named the DeVos program one of the top two graduate sport business management programs in the world.