Stephen Ross to Enter NFF Leadership Hall Of Fame

Ross will be honored at a special luncheon, kicking off the Dolphins 2019 season.

IRVING, Texas (Aug. 7, 2019) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that Stephen M. Ross, the chairman of the board/managing general partner of the Miami Dolphins and the chairman and founder of Related Companies, will be inducted into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame. He will be honored Aug. 28 as part of a special luncheon, kicking off the Miami Dolphins 2019 season at the InterContinental Hotel.

“Stephen Ross has built a reputation as one of the top business leaders in our country today,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “His induction into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame will allow us to shine a light on his significant accomplishments and his many philanthropic contributions. His remarkable leadership skills and ability to inspire others represent the same set of traits learned on the football field, and we are extremely proud to add his name to the esteemed list of inductees in the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame. He clearly has defined himself as a leader whose life deserves to be emulated.”

Established in 2013, the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame provides the NFF with a powerful platform for recognizing the country’s most influential individuals who have ascended to the highest levels of success and exhibited the critical leadership qualities that transcend ordinary enterprises. Members of the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame must embody the same qualities in amateur football that define excellence in American life: hard work, discipline, determination, teamwork, integrity and the relentless pursuit to improve.

“Stephen Ross has created a legacy equaled by few in our nation,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “A shrewd businessman, he has always understood how to make an impact, and his generosity to countless charities is an inspiration on so many levels. We are especially grateful for his strong support of the NFF Football Matters campaign, which aims to highlight the ‘Good in the Game.’ His leadership has made a huge impact, and we look forward to celebrating his many accomplishments Aug. 28 in Miami.”

In 2008, Ross purchased the Miami Dolphins, and he has become one of the league’s most influential owners. He is deeply committed to supporting and uniting the community that supports the Dolphins, offering tremendous support in the areas of education, health and youth football. Under his stewardship, the Dolphins have raised more than $32.5 million for local cancer research through the Dolphins Cancer Challenge. In addition, Ross has been a major proponent of growing the game of football through the Junior Dolphins program. In 2018 alone, the program impacted more than 22,000 South Floridians with the goal of educating coaches, parents and youth on the health and safety of football with a strong emphasis on character development.

His charitable work extends far beyond South Florida. Ross has used his platform to harness the unifying power of sport to advance race relations across the country through the establishment of the nonprofit Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE). In addition, he has taken the Buffett-Gates “Giving Pledge” to give away more than half of his personal fortune, estimated at $7.8 billion. His numerous charitable endeavors include the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the Urban Land Institute, the World Resources Institute and The Jackie Robinson Foundation. Notably, his lifetime contributions totaling $378 million to his alma mater make him the largest donor in University of Michigan history, and the business school famously bears his name.

Ross founded Related Companies in 1972 after graduating from Michigan and then Wayne State University Law School, and he built the firm into a global real estate powerhouse. The company’s projects span the globe and their marquee developments include the Time Warner Center and the $25 billion Hudson Yards, both in New York City, with the later holding the title as the largest private-sector development in U.S. history.

Ross will become the 12th inductee into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame. His outstanding record of leadership and many accomplishments will be highlighted during the Aug. 28 event and subsequently enshrined in an exhibit at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta for future generations to emulate. During his induction, several people who have worked closely with Ross will make remarks, and he will be presented with a special diamond ring designed by Herff Jones to commemorate the honor.

The host committee for the event consists of College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning (NFF Chairman), College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (Special Advisor, Miami Dolphins), Jorge Perez (Chairman, Related Group), Rodney Barreto (Chairman, Miami Super Bowl Host Committee), Tom Garfinkel (CEO, Miami Dolphins), Steve Hatchell (President and CEO, NFF), Warde Manuel (Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics, University of Michigan) and John P. (Jack) Seiler (Vice Chairman, Orange Bowl Committee).

The NFF Leadership Hall of Fame events serve as a centerpiece of the NFF’s annual fundraising efforts, providing critical support for the organization’s scholarships, programs and outreach initiatives that emphasize the value of football to society. By creating a powerful fundraising opportunity, the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame allows those who have reached the pinnacle of success to help the NFF strengthen its programs and fulfill its mission of Building Leaders Through Football.

Previous NFF Leadership Hall of Fame inductees include:

2013 – Jerry Jones, owner, president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys
2013 – George F. Pyne, chairman and CEO Bruin Sports Capital
2014 – Chris Christie, New Jersey Governor
2015 – Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, founder and chairman of Cooper Aerobics
2015 – Joe Jamail, famed trial lawyer and philanthropist
2015 – Casey Wasserman, chairman and CEO of Wasserman
2016 – Michael Bidwill, president of the Arizona Cardinals
2016 – Doug Ducey, Arizona Governor
2017 – Tod Leiweke, Chief Operating Officer for the National Football League
2018 – Arthur Blank, Owner & Chairman of the Atlanta Falcons
2018 – Ben Sutton, Jr., Founder & Chairman of Teall Capital

Click here to learn more about the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame.

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include Football Matters®, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy®, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments – a proud partner of the Campbell Trophy®, Goodyear, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, Sports Business Journal, SportsManias, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at footballfoundation.org.

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