Quarterback Kurt Warner, winner of Super Bowl XXXIV, will speak at the 58th Annual Freed-Hardeman University Benefit Dinner Friday night, Dec. 2, 2022, to raise funds for student scholarships, according to FHU President David R. Shannon.
The annual FHU Benefit Dinner is typically the state’s largest single-night fundraiser. For the past 22 years, it has generated more than $1 million annually to help students attend FHU. Forever Communications is the premier media sponsor for the event, and tickets and other sponsorships are now available. General admission tickets, which include dinner and Warner’s presentation, are $150, and sponsorships begin at $600. Tickets and sponsorships may be reserved at fhu.edu/BenefitDinner.
“Since almost 100% of our students receive financial aid, this night is vital in making their FHU experience and life preparation possible,” FHU Vice President for Community Engagement Dave Clouse said. “This celebration also has become an annual reunion for faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the university.”
Warner’s story resembles a rags-to-riches story in the best Hollywood tradition. He twice beat the odds to lead two losing franchises to the Super Bowl. In 1999, he emerged from obscurity to lead the St. Louis Rams to victory in Super Bowl XXXIV.
In that same year, Warner was named the NFL and Super Bowl Most Valuable Player. For the next two years, he continued to be a dominant force in the NFL as the ringleader of what became known as the “Greatest Show on Turf.” He led the Rams to two additional playoff appearances, including another Super Bowl, and received Pro Bowl honors for three consecutive years (1999-2001). He also was recognized with two NFL MVP awards, receiving his second after the 2001 season.
Following injuries in 2004 and being released by the Rams, Warner signed a one-year contract with the New York Giants. In March 2005, he was signed by the Arizona Cardinals, where most football experts expected him to end his career. In 2007, the veteran signal-caller battled through an elbow injury to begin his renaissance. In 2008, he led the Cardinals to their first-ever Super Bowl berth, was voted to his fourth Pro Bowl, and surpassed several Cardinals’ franchise records, including touchdowns, attempts, completions, completion percentage and passer rating. Warner retired after the 2009 season.
Warner’s post-retirement accomplishments are equally impressive. He is an analyst with the NFL Network and Westwood One and an effective motivational speaker. In addition, he hosted a reality series, “The Moment,” on USA Network.
Warner’s gridiron accomplishments pale in comparison to the dedication he devotes to his community. In 2001, he and his wife, Brenda, established the First Things First Foundation, a nonprofit public charity dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing opportunities to encourage everyone to put first things first.
In 2012, the Warners founded Treasure House, a Christian-based, supported living community for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Treasure House offers an affordable residential opportunity to cultivate independence with the appropriate resources. The first community opened in the Phoenix, Arizona, area in 2018 with a vision of expanding to other communities.
The quarterback’s accolades include the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, the Good Guy Award from the Pro Football Writers Association, USA Weekend’s Most Caring Athlete, ABC World News’ Person of the Week, Forbes Magazine’s America’s Most-Liked Sports Figure, Sports Illustrated’s Best Role Model, and the Bart Starr Award. In 2017, Warner was given the ultimate praise in professional football when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Lionsgate Films with producers Kingdom Studios brought his life story to the big screen. The movie, “American Underdog,” was released in theaters December 2021; it received an A+ Cinema Score and a 98% Rotten Tomatoes audience score.
In the spring of ‘21, Warner launched a teaching/instruction platform called QBConfidential (QBC), a video-based/membership only website that delves into the various aspects of learning, viewing and coaching football. It features video tutorials from Warner on Xs & Os, mechanics, mindset, play calling and leadership.
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.
158 East Main Street
Henderson, TN 38340
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5565 Shelby Oaks Drive
Memphis, TN 38134
855 Highway 46 South
Dickson, TN 37055
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