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Idonije to receive honorary degree

Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije will be in Winnipeg Thursday to receive an honorary degree from the University of Manitoba at its 135th annual spring convocation.


Israel Idonije is congratulated by Prince Charles after being inducted into the Order of Manitoba.
Idonije, who moved to Canada from Nigeria when he was four years old, is the only Manitoban and former University of Manitoba football product to play in the NFL. On Thursday, he will become the first pro athlete to receive an honorary degree from the University of Manitoba.

Idonije's latest honor comes two weeks after he was inducted into the Order of Manitoba at a ceremony in Winnipeg that included The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, and his wife, The Duchess of Cornwall.

Established under special legislation, the Order of Manitoba is the highest honor the province bestows on its citizens. It recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavor, benefiting in an outstanding manner the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents.

Entering his 11th NFL season, Idonije also operates the Israel Idonije Foundation, which is committed to impacting underserved communities by providing programs focused on social and emotional life skills in three places he considers home: Chicago, Winnipeg and West Africa.

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