Batch set to speak at Bethany

BETHANY – Charlie Batch, an NFL quarterback who played for the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers before becoming a nationally-recognized advocate for urban communities, will deliver the commencement address at Bethany College’s 178th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday.

In a career that has spanned 20 years, Batch has been a professional athlete, television analyst, entrepreneur, advocate for disadvantaged communities, philanthropist and champion of numerous issues affecting children and health.

Bethany College will make Batch an honorary doctor of philanthropy.

“Charlie Batch’s example of tenacity, hard work, and dedication in service to the community is a model for 21st century American life,” said the Rev. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg, Bethany president. “The impact of his work and message will be a clarion call to the Class of 2018 at a time when public service is needed more than ever. We’re honored to welcome him to Bethany College.”

Batch, a native of Pittsburgh’s Homestead neighborhood, was a quarterback at Eastern Michigan University from 1994-97, where he set nearly all of the school’s passing records before being drafted by the Lions in 1998.

Batch completed 15 seasons in the NFL, including winning two Super Bowls as a member of the Steelers.

His leadership in the NFL included serving as executive committee vice president for the NFL Players Association and NFL spokesperson for the United Way.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan, a master’s of science degree from Robert Morris University and four honorary doctorate degrees.