Sunday, November 8, 2009
The Père Marquette Discovery Award is Marquette University's highest honor. In the spirit of the discoveries of Père Jacques Marquette, the award honors those who achieve an extraordinary breakthrough that adds to human knowledge or the advancement of humanity.
On November 8 in 1969, the Apollo 11 crew was the first recipient of the University's highest honor.
Presented to Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins. "In perpetuating the memory of Father Marquette as one of history's greatest explorers and discoverers," President John P. Raynor, S.J., said, "it is most fitting that the first Père Marquette Discovery Medals be presented to the heroic crew of Apollo 11. Like Father Marquette, the Apollo 11 astronauts share in full measure the qualities which distinguish all great explorers — a questing spirit, uniqueness in deed, and a consuming dedication to the betterment of civilization."
From the SI Vault: "Apollo 11 astronauts are to be honored by Marquette Saturday when the university presents them with the school's first Père Marquette Discovery Award Medals—and three basketball warmup suits and jerseys. Marquette Captain Joe Thomas will give Buzz Aldrin, Mike Collins and Neil Armstrong jerseys bearing the No. 11. But the school will take them right back again, retire the number and hang the jerseys in the gymnasium. For the rest of the season Marquette basketball players will wear replicas of the Apollo 11 patch on their uniforms. As for the astronauts, they will wear those warmup suits, tailored from NASA's measurements and especially designed for jogging".
The basketball team wore Apollo 11 patch replicas on their warm-up suits for the 1970-71 season (which started a month after the award). There was also a sweet special uni set for their post season appearance in the NIT.