NHRA Legend John Force Awarded Honorary Doctorate Degree from UNOH

Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2018


John Force addresses UNOH crowd after accepting his degree

Hall of Fame National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) driver and record holder, John Force, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Northwestern Ohio on January 10, 2018. Force is best known for his 16 Funny Car championships and 148 NHRA victories. Force’s first championship came in 1990, and afterwards he went on to claim an incredible run of 10 consecutive NHRA titles from 1993-2002. In 2017, his teams took home the Top Fuel and Funny Car championships, earning Force his 19th and 20th championships as a car owner.

Force, along with two of his daughters, Courtney and Brittany Force, Robert Hight, who is a championship NHRA drag racer and president of John Force Racing, and wife, Laurie Force joined him for a tour of UNOH’s campus where they met and interacted with students and explored the variety of degree programs that UNOH offers. The Force crew also met with UNOH Motorsports team members.

After meeting John Force, Will Norris, UNOH student and Motorsports team driver, said, “I think it was great for the school and students to have Mr. Force, now Dr. Force on campus! It was cool to see his excitement about all the resources we are offered here, and all we have to offer to him as an employee. As a dirt racer meeting a legendary drag racer, it was an awesome experience to meet such a down to earth legend.”

UNOH President Dr. Jarvis presented Force with the honorary degree at a special ceremony held at the UNOH Event Center. Students and Employees filled the Presidential Hall to near capacity.  Dr. Jarvis said, “His dedication, commitment, perseverance, and drive of excellence serves as an outstanding role model for our students and we are honored to have Mr. Force become a part of our family.”

After accepting his degree, Dr. John Force addressed the crowd saying, “When I grew up, Dad went out and taught me how to build a car, how to build an engine, how to change a tire. We do not have that type of culture anymore. That is what this school is all about. You have an opportunity here to be whatever you want to be.”   Towards the end of his speech, Force looked out amongst the standing room only audience and paused saying, “You’re going to a great university, live it, go to school every day like you’re going to Disneyland, and take in everything you can learn because they got everything here to teach you.” 

“To have a crowd come in like this, you broke my heart, “ Force said with a smile, “I love all of you for what you do, I wish I was your age and had the whole world ahead of me … God Bless you, I love you and thank you very much.”

Following the ceremonies, students from the Motorsports team had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Force and get his autograph along with some candid photos. UNOH is proud to have honored Force who has had such a big impact in the racing industry and who has employed UNOH graduates to work for John Force Racing for many years.   

“I don’t have to recruit from anywhere anymore,” said Force, “I’m just coming here with a bus the next time I come.”  And the students hope so too!

Congratulations Dr. John Force!

Category: Campus & Community

Keywords: John Force, NHRA, Doctorate

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Last updated: 01/11/2018