Vince Papale to Receive Iwo Jima Leadership Award

Vince Papale to Receive Marine Military Academy Iwo Jima Leadership Award

Andi Atkinson

Marine Military Academy to host General H.M. Smith Foundation Dinner on April 13

vince papaleVince Papale, former wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles and inspiration for the 2006 Disney movie, “Invincible,” will be the guest of honor and recipient of the Iwo Jima Leadership Award at the General H.M. Smith Foundation Dinner on Friday, April 13 at 6 p.m. at Marine Military Academy (MMA).

Past recipients of the prestigious Iwo Jima Leadership Award include Gov. Rick Perry, Stephen Bechtel, Jr. of the Bechtel Group, Inc., Richard Fisher of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and George P. Schultz, U.S. Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan.

Vince Papale makes Philiadelphia Eagles

Vince Papale made NFL history in 1976 when the 30-year-old schoolteacher and coach walked onto a Philadelphia Eagles try-out. Though he was older than the average rookie and did not have any college football experience, he defied the incredible odds against him and made the team.

Vince Papale Today

A hero to everyday working people, Vince Papale played with the Eagles from 1976 to 1978. A shoulder injury ended his football career in 1979. Today this Eagles’ legend is a speaker, author and spokesperson who continues to inspire and motivate people, especially in these fragile economic times.

vince papaleIn addition to recognizing a true and outstanding leader, the General H.M. Smith Foundation Dinner also honors individuals who have donated $100,000 or more to MMA within the last fiscal year. This year, John W. B. Klein will receive the Smith Fellow Award and be inducted into the prestigious General H.M. Smith Foundation.

To reserve a seat or table, call (956) 421-9232 or e-mail The cost to attend the General H.M. Smith Foundation Dinner is $250 per seat. At the Bronze giving level, the cost is $500 per seat. To reserve or sponsor a table of 10, supporters may choose from the following giving levels: $2,500 (Silver), $5,000 (Gold), $10,000 (Platinum) or $25,000 (Title).

Since 1970, the General H.M. Smith Foundation Dinner is a highly revered annual fundraiser that upholds the memory of Gen. Holland M. Smith. Smith was a Marine and famed war hero who served in World War I and World War II. Nicknamed “Howlin’ Mad” Smith, he was known as the father of modern amphibious warfare. Smith was a benefactor of children and a staunch donor to MMA until his passing in 1967 at age 84.

To learn more about Marine Military Academy visit our website at or request information at