Big news today from Thompson Rivers University is not a phrase I usually write to open a sports article. Still, it’s accurate on this Thursday as TRU announced it will be bestowing an honorary degree on Vancouver Whitecaps FC president Bob Lenarduzzi during its June convocations.
Lenarduzzi, a living legend in the realms of provincial and national soccer, will be granted his honorary Doctor of Laws during the June 8th ceremony at the Kamloops-based TRU. It’s another in a long line of official recognitions for Lenarduzzi, including inductions into multiple sports halls of fame, the Order of British of Columbia, and a spot on CONCACAF’s “Top 30 Players of the Century”.
The university heralds Lenarduzzi as “a visionary community-builder” who “embodies … determination and leadership.” Can’t argue with that. Well done, Bobby.
Here’s the full TRU write-up on Lenarduzzi:
“Bob Lenarduzzi is a Canadian sport icon, excelling as soccer player, coach, general manager and now president of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
He represented Canada 47 times, including at the 1984 Olympic Summer Games and the 1986 FIFA World Cup, and was twice named the Canadian Soccer League’s Coach of the Year.
His continuing contributions to the growth of the sport include the Whitecaps’ successful bid for a Major League Soccer franchise and the launch of the National Soccer Development Centre, a training facility for not only Whitecaps FC teams, but Canadian national teams, visitors and Vancouver’s local soccer community.
Seeing a vital link between sports leadership and community well-being, he is cultivating leadership in Canadian youth through sport.
Lenarduzzi is a visionary community-builder with an impact that goes far beyond his sport, and embodies the determination and leadership which TRU aims to foster in our students.”
The two other TRU honorary degree recipients for 2016 are legendary mediator Vince Ready (Doctor of Laws) and founder of cognitive neuroscience Brenda Milner (Doctor of Letters).