Vince Wilfork to receive honorary degrees at NEIT commencement

Vince Wilfork, former New England Patriots defensive captain and lineman and former Governor Philip W. Noel will receive honorary degrees at the Sunday, May 3 New England Institute of Technology commencement ceremonies at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

Wilfork who won bookend Super Bowls in his first and last year with the Patriots, will deliver the commencement address and help to mark the college’s 75th anniversary. Commencement ceremonies begin at 11 a.m.

Wilfork was drafted by the Patriots in 2004 and became a leader on the team and one of the NFL’s best defensive tackles. He registered 516 combined tackles and 16 sacks during his 11 years with the Pats and was selected to play in the Pro Bowl five times. After becoming a free agent at the end of the season, Wilfork recently signed to play with the Houston Texans for a contract worth a reported $9 million.

“This has been an interesting process for me and my family, one we have taken very seriously and given a lot of thought,” Wilfork said. “We will forever be Patriots in our hearts.”

At 6-foot-2 and 325-pounds, Wilfork is an imposing player on the field. Off the field he has tackled issues close to his heart. He has raised $1.5 million to help fund diabetes research, education and care in memory of his father, who died from complications of diabetes. He and his wife Bianca sponsored a wing at the Mattapan Community Health Center and they raise money for the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and the Diabetes Research Institute in Florida. They have also worked to help disadvantaged children and families in Massachusetts and in Florida where both Wilfork and his wife grew up. In recognition of his work to improve the lives of others, Vince Wilfork will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters during commencement.

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