J.J. Watt to receive honorary degree from Baylor for Hurricane Harvey relief work

Texans star J.J. Watt will receive an honorary degree from the Baylor College of Medicine at commencement ceremonies in May for his role in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the school announced.

Watt led a drive that raised more than $37 million toward the recovery efforts. He’s also been honored as Sports Illustrated’s co-Sportsperson of the Year, along with Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, as well as with the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Watt and Houston Emergency Medical Services director Dr. David Persse will receive Doctor of Humanities in Medicine degrees, awarded “to individuals who have provided exceptional support or service directly or indirectly to Baylor or to academic medicine as a whole and to the community at large,” according to Baylor’s announcement.

“We award honorary degrees to those who have made a major impact on the College, our community or academic medicine in general,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor. 

“In the year following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the community’s incredible response, it was most fitting to honor two community leaders who contributed in major ways, Dr. Persse and J.J. Watt. Our graduates and their families can take important lessons from all four of these honorary degree recipients.”