Aaron: Icon of Perseverance

Baseball Legend Will Address Seniors Today, Offering Lessons on the Value of Hard Work

And he continues to be active in arguing forthe rights of minorities in baseball.

"I think that we still have a long way to go,"he says. "I'm still somewhat disturbed at what theminority status is at the moment--the lack ofminorities participating in the managerialcapacity."

"My concern is one that minorities have stoodtall in playing and should stand tall in gettingmanagerial jobs also," he says.

American Hero

Counter describes Aaron in glowing terms.


"I think that he is one of the finest humanbeings I have ever met," he says. "He is a man ofgreat dignity and poise."

Counter says he has known Aaron for many yearsthrough mutual friends.

"[I met him] when I was a youngster in WestPalm Beach many years ago," Counter says. "Mr.Aaron was playing baseball at that time, and [I]considered him the best in the country and allyoungsters looked up to him as a hero."

Counter says that knowing Aaron made watchinghim hit the record-breaking 715th homer all themore special.

"I was ecstatic. I was delighted," Countersays. "I remember watching the game, seeing thepitch and [seeing him] hitting the ball."

"I was excited for him--he made Americanhistory," Counter says. "I was so proud of him."

Counter's pride is mirrored in the eyes of theyounger generation. Miller says the reaction toAaron's selection has been wonderful.

"The response that we've received from seniorshas been overwhelmingly positive about ourchoice," he says. "We're very happy with it, andwe think that the choice that we have made and theresponse from Hank Aaron has been really great andwe really look forward to Class Day."Photo Courtesy of Harvard News OfficeHANK AARON and S. ALLEN COUNTER Jr. (rear)at a Mather House reception earlier thisspring.