NEW YORK -- Drafted directly out of high school in Kalamazoo, Mich., Derek Jeter never had the opportunity to attend college. But the Yankees shortstop is about to get his hands on a degree.
Siena College in Loudonville, New York, will award Jeter with an honorary degree during the school's commencement ceremony on May 13. Jeter, who will be playing against the Mariners that day in the Bronx, is unable to attend but plans to submit a personalized video message that will be played at the Times Union Center. Jeter's sister, Sharlee, who is president of his Turn 2 Foundation, will accept the degree on his behalf.
"It means a lot," Jeter said. "It means a lot to me, and it means a lot to my family for a lot of the work we've done."
According to a Siena release, Jeter will receive a "Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of his leadership, accomplishments on the baseball field and dedication to improving the lives of young people through his Turn 2 Foundation."
It is the first honorary degree for Jeter, who nearly attended the University of Michigan to play baseball out of high school but opted for a professional career, instead. Monday, Jeter mused about what he would have potentially studied had he continued his academic career.
"Something probably business related," Jeter said. "You don't have to declare your major until after the first two years, so I would have had quite some time."
Jeter founded the Turn 2 Foundation in 1996 -- his rookie year -- and the organization has since awarded more than $16 million in grants to create and support programs and activities to motivate young people to live healthy lifestyles.
"We all know that Derek Jeter is a tremendous athlete, but this is an opportunity for the Siena community to honor and share in his commitment to young men and women," Siena College Vice President for Academic Affairs Linda Richardson said in a statement. "Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation encourages our youth to remain in school and to stay healthy. Siena will support our joint mission of academic excellence by providing two full grants to academically-qualified students who have participated in one of the many Turn 2 Foundation Signature Programs."