Hofstra to honor Cosmos great Pelé with plaque, degree

Pele's Final Match

The New York Cosmos didn’t forget their roots when they chose Hofstra University for their home grounds, and the Pride certainly didn’t forget the Cosmos.

In a nod to their historical ties, Hofstra will bestow Cosmos great Pelé with an honorary degree and a permanent plaque at Shuart Stadium, to be presented prior to the New York Cosmos season opener against the Atlanta Silverbacks on April 13th.

“Pelé transformed and transcended the game of soccer,” said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. “While the world first came to know him for extraordinary athletic feats, his soccer career was, in many respects, simply a prelude to an extraordinary life of service as a philanthropist and advocate. He understands the power and responsibility his soccer legacy carries, and has used it to improve the lives of others.”

Currently a World Cup ambassador and Honorary President of the New York Cosmos, Pelé will be the centerpiece of Hofstra’s “Soccer as the Beautiful Game: Football’s Artistry, Identity & Politics” conference; an academic symposium featuring 100 scholars, journalists, players and coaches scheduled to take place April 10th-13th.

Pelé will address a youth symposium at a celebratory banquet on Friday, April 11th before being presented his plaque at Shuart. While ‘The King’ never played at Hofstra, his name has inextricably been connected to the Cosmos who once again call Hofstra home.

The conference will be presented by over a dozen academic and sports institutions — most notably the U.S. Soccer Federation, the New York cosmos and the General Consulates of South Africa and Brazil. Topics to be discussed will include women and soccer; the semiotics, history and governance of the game; how the sport is represented in art and literature; and its influence on religion and cultural identity.