Lowery '78 supports community

by Austin Zalkin | 10/30/98 6:00am

Retired pro football star Nick Lowery '78, the most accurate field goal kicker of the 1990s, challenged an audience of 50 people to become involved in the community in his speech "The Soul of Success: Implementing Dartmouth's Community Vision" at the Top of the Hop last night.

Lowery, the all-time NFL record holder for the most career field goals, and a placekicker for 18 seasons with the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets, has now turned his primary focus to community service.

His efforts include several projects in conjunction with the NFL as well as his own charitable fund, the Nick Lowery Foundation. He has also won the Byrone "Whizzer" White Award, the foremost humanitarian award of the NFL Player's Association.

Lowery is currently working on a project called Native Vision, a health, fitness and achievement program for Native American children. The program involves professional athletes and attempts to use sports as a catalyst for reaching the young.

Aside from discussing his own community work, Lowery spoke of a general need for more community service. He explained the necessity of having those able to solve problems work creatively for the good of all.

To expand the scope of his work, Lowery has held various community relations positions under three White House Presidents to promote issues from drug abuse prevention to national service.

"Government is our excuse to give others what we should all be doing in our own way," he said.

Society needs to change some of its core values, he said, to realize everyone has duties to the community.

"You'll never feel happy or successful or fulfilled until you share those feelings with others," he said.

Lowery revealed that his contributions to society did not come until after he had begun his pro career.

"When I finally made it to the NFL," he said, "I took the opportunity to use the spotlight and point it somewhere else."

In addition to his work with Native Vision, Lowery's spotlight has shone on victims of cerebral palsy.

Referencing the bible, Mother Theresa and other luminaries, Lowery said society has to reclaim personal responsibility.

He addressed societal issues such as the breakdown of families and the ignorance of the press to "real problems."

Lowery impressed upon the audience his deep feelings for his causes with an emotional address followed by a question-and-answer session. Several members of the crowd spoke of their own community service involvement.

The speech was sponsored by the Tucker Foundation as part of two current campus series -- "Putting Your Values to Work" and "Character and Conscience: A Mission of Higher Education."