It’s not where you start but where you finish. Bernard Hopkins grew up in the Raymond Rosen housing projects in Philadelphia — it was tough sledding. By the time he turned 13 he was well into a life of crime and had been stabbed a few times. At the age of 17 Bernard Hopkins was sentenced to serve 18 years in the Graterford Prison for nine separate felonies. That same man was recently honored by Temple University in Philadelphia. It matters not where you start, just where you finish.
While in prison Hopkins saw a man killed in a dispute over cigarettes. Prison was no fairy tale and Hopkins determined that given the chance, he’d never go back. There was one thing in prison that Hopkins can be grateful for, however. It was there that he discovered a passion for boxing and it’s a good thing that he did. After serving nearly five years he was released and never looked back. Hopkins would go on to become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world and hold other titles, also. Hopkins is a legend, having been ranked by BoxRec as the eleventh greatest boxer of all time, pound for pound.
In addition to his accomplishments in the ring, Hopkins would go on to become a businessman, investing extensively in real estate and other ventures, including a stake in Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. He has been recognized for his philanthropic work in his hometown Philadelphia and still routinely walks the streets, connecting with the people. Having lived such a life and been so committed to his city, it’s only natural that Temple University would honor him with a doctor of humane letters degree. It’s all about where you finish.