Former Eagle, Magician Jon Dorenbos Honored with Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship’s Inaugural Resilience Award

Former Eagles player and magician Jon Dorenbos with a deck of cards

Drexel University’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and the Arthur J. and Sandra K. Mattia Foundation will be honoring former Philadelphia Eagles player and magician Jon Dorenbos with the inaugural “Charles D. Close School Resilience Award” in recognition of his innovative thinking and perseverance.

The award will be presented to Dorenbos on Nov. 22 at the first annual “Innovation Can’t Wait” celebration held at The Union League of Philadelphia. All proceeds from the event will support programming at the Close School.

Dorenbos holds the record for the most consecutive games in Eagles franchise history (162) and in 2018 was awarded an honorary Super Bowl ring. Since his retirement from football, Dorenbos is a renowned magician and makes frequent appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” He was also a finalist on “America’s Got Talent.”

“At the Close School, we recognize the value of innovation here in Philadelphia and for society as a whole. We work with students every day to help them put their ideas into action addressing some of the world’s biggest problems — from mental health, to food insecurity, to clean water,” said Donna De Carolis, PhD, founding dean of the Close School. “Jon Dorenbos encompasses the spirit of innovation and resilience that we teach our students.”

At the event, Dorenbos will present a talk about his book, Life is Magic: My Inspiring Journey from Tragedy to Self-Discovery, and perform a magic show. The book details his journey including how football and magic helped him through tragedies in his life.

The Close School will also honor Drexel innovators at the event. Alumni Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev, founders of goPuff, will be awarded the “Drexel University Founders Award.” Gola and Ilishayev launched their business while sophomores at Drexel and now deliver snacks, essentials and convenience items to homes in more than 100 locations across the country.

Recent Drexel graduate Evan Ehlers, of Sharing Excess, will be awarded the “Charles D. Close School Alumni Award.” Ehlers launched his non-profit startup while at Drexel to distribute excess food from Philadelphia establishments to people in need.

The Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship is the first independent school of entrepreneurship in the nation to offer degrees in entrepreneurship. The interdisciplinary programs and curricula, which serve students of all academic disciplines and career ambitions, represent a bold new approach to entrepreneurship education by teaching students to think and act like entrepreneurs. Contributions to the Close School are investments in student education that will transform the future.