Updated: Jan 9, 2020
Although hockey fans everywhere know Robert Blake Theodore Lindsay as “Terrible” Ted Lindsay for his toughness on the ice, this Hockey Hall of Fame player has spent a lifetime demonstrating magnificent compassion and generosity off the ice.
In honor of his contributions of time, talent and treasure to worthy causes in the Metro Detroit area and beyond, Oakland University will proudly confer upon Lindsay an honorary doctorate of humanities degree during its spring commencement exercises.
"Oakland University prides itself as a community of resourceful, dedicated and determined individuals with a unifying mission to improve the quality of lives through education, research and community service," said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost James P. Lentini. "It is a great honor for the University to bestow an honorary doctorate of humanities degree upon Ted Lindsay because, in his own right, he has dedicated a lifetime of passion toward this very same goal. While the impact of his career on the ice will forever be legendary, we believe his even greater legacy will be the countless contributions he has made to the health and happiness of children and their families."
Lindsay played for the Detroit Red Wings between 1944 and 1957, and in that time, became a nine-time All-Star, contributed to four Stanley Cup championships and christened the tradition of hoisting the Stanley Cup while skating a lap around the rink. Additionally, the NHL’s award for most outstanding player in the regular season is named in his honor.
With the same passion and determination he brought to competition, Lindsay fought for the rights and interests of his fellow players, including filing an antitrust lawsuit that was ultimately settled out of court. He also refused to attend his 1966 induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame because only men could attend, and this led to the event being opened to women the following year. He has also long been active with the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association, which raises money for a variety of children’s charities.
Lindsay, who is also a former TV hockey analyst and Detroit Red Wings general manager created the Ted Lindsay Foundation to battle autism in 2001. The organization has since raised more than $4 million to support both local and regional organizations battling autism. The foundation also partnered with Beaumont Health to create the space for the Lindsay Foundation Hope Center, which supports research, training programs and educational programs, and social services for children with autism.