Dec. 16, 2011
BERKELEY - Former Cal football standout Nnamdi Asomugha, now a cornerback with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, will receive the Mark Bingham Award for Excellence in Achievement by a Young Alumnus. Presented by the Cal Alumni Association, Asomugha will be formally recognized at the Charter Gala, a benefit for the Cal Alumni Association, on March 24, 2012, at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.
A native of Nigeria, Asomugha grew up in Southern California after his parents left the impoverished African country.
"I was taught from a very young age that giving to others is what we're supposed to do," said Asomugha, who also serves as chairman of the Asomugha Foundation serving orphans and widows in his native country. "My parents were among the first families from their area to leave Nigeria and come to America, the land of the free. Once they got here, whatever they earned, they made sure to send some of it back. And they made sure that their children understood the importance of giving back, too."
Asomugha is now a dedicated athlete, actor and philanthropist. He launched the Asomugha Foundation, which assists Nigerian orphans and widows with food, shelter and vocational training. The foundation also mentors high-achieving Bay Area high school students of color. Each year, he selects students who meet his GPA and leadership requirements and takes them on an all-expenses-paid college tour of different cities.
In 2012, Asomugha will appear in his first feature film Fire with Fire, starring Bruce Willis. He has also appeared on Friday Night Lights, The Game, and Cubed on Fox Sports.
In 2010, Asomugha received a Jefferson Award, which is bestowed each year to individuals nationwide whose lives, careers and volunteer activities embody the finest examples of public service. Known as the "Nobel Prize for Public Service," the award was co-founded in 1973 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft Jr. and Sam Beard.
Asomugha lettered for the Bears for four consecutive seasons (1999-2002) and served as a captain in his senior campaign, before becoming a first-round pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2003 NFL Draft. Now in his ninth season in the NFL and widely regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in the league, he is a three-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro selection. In 2009, he was recognized as the Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year.
The Mark Bingham Award is named in honor of the former Cal rugby player who was a passenger on Flight 93 during the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
In addition to Asomugha, Dr. Eric Schmidt was named the CAA's 2012 Alumnus of the Year. For more information on all the CAA award winners, please visit the Cal Alumni Association website.