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Nike Reception at Morehouse Honors Lee and Dunn for their Community Service Work

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

Filmmaker Spike Lee ’79 and National Football League star Warrick Dunn have been honored by sports apparel-maker Nike for their contributions to the community.

The two were given Nike’s “Just Do It” award during the company’s Black History Month reception held at Morehouse’s Executive Conference Center on Friday, March 7.

Lee, who is a member of the Morehouse Board of Trustees, was honored for his cultural contributions with the 21 films he’s done in the past 21 years. He also was chosen because of his commitment to education. Lee helped start the Morehouse Journalism and Sports Program and has been one of its major financial supporters.

Dunn, who was unable to attend the reception, played for the Atlanta Falcons from 2002 until 2007. He has long been known for his community service work. His “Homes for the Holidays” program has helped build and furnish houses for 74 single parents and 192 dependents in Atlanta, Tampa and Baton Rouge, La.

“We are excited about the impact that Warrick Dunn and Spike Lee have had on the world,” said Morehouse President Robert M. Franklin Jr. ’75.

The reception also highlighted the artwork of students from Atlanta’s Carter G. Woodson Elementary School. The students’ work was inspired by African mudcloth, which has been used in the design of a new, limited edition Nike shoe. Only 600 pairs will be produced.

“They will only be given away, not sold,” said Nike vice president Larry Harper. “They will be given to individuals who embody the spirit of giving back to their communities.”

Nike also presented Carter G. Woodson Elementary School with a grant for $30,000 to support the school's programs.

Nike announced that they would endow a $2,500 scholarship for Morehouse's Journalism and Sports program, along with an internship for one of the program's students.

Lee participated in a question-and-answer session with Nike vice president Larry Harper in which he talked about his career and showed a clip of his upcoming film “Miracle at St. Anna.”

He also gave some advice to students.

“The advice I would give to Morehouse men today is the advice I give to all young people. I tell everybody, especially an undergraduate, that hopefully they choose a major that they love. A majority of the people in the world go to their graves hating their jobs.”

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