Berwanger to be honored at Oct. 21 game
Homecoming event commemorates 60th anniversary of Heisman Trophy Jay Berwanger (A.B.'36), winner in 1935 of the first Heisman Trophy, will be honored at half time during the Maroons' Homecoming football game against defending University Athletic Association champion Carnegie Mellon University. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Stagg Field. Berwanger, former All-American halfback on the University's legendary "Monsters of the Midway" football team, will also serve as honorary captain.
The event commemorates the 60th anniversary of the awarding of the first Heisman Trophy, which over the years has become the most coveted prize in college football. The trophy itself is modeled after a photograph of Berwanger in action.
Berwanger will be honored for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the University. As a result of his college football achievements, Berwanger was the number one choice in professional football's historic first draft. He never did play professional football, though, because the Chicago Bears did not meet his terms of $12,500 per year and a two-year, no-cut contract. Berwanger, who majored in business, instead chose to work for a foam-rubber company for $25 a week. He is currently president of Jay Berwanger Inc., a manufacturers'-representative firm he founded in the 1940s.
Over the years, Berwanger has maintained close contact with the University, serving as chairman for several alumni fund drives and as a member of other fundraising committees. He currently serves on the fundraising committee for the University's new athletic center and as chairman of his class's 60th reunion. He was awarded the University Alumni Service Medal in 1984 for extended, extraordinary service to the University.