Bert Jacobs and John Jacobs, co-founders and principals of the Life is good Company, we are proud to confer upon you today the honorary degree Doctor of Commercial Science.
Optimism is your stock-in-trade.
Two creative and entrepreneurial brothers from Massachusetts, raised on the virtues of positive thinking, found a natural calling in designing and selling T-shirts. An aging van became your storefront during a five-year road trip to college campuses all along the East Coast. In 1994, you rolled home with a meager $78 and uncertain plans, but somehow, still smiling.
Three words and one grinning stick figure later, you had a winner. Life is good apparel and other products are on the shelves at more than 3,500 retailers nationwide, in six company-owned stores, and online at Lifeisgood.com. Astute partnerships with companies such as Hallmark and Smucker’s have extended the brand and its compelling message of simplicity, humor and humility.
Success in the marketplace has always been more means than end. Children are a special focus, as the company fulfills its positive purpose and donates 10 percent of net profits to the Life is good Kids Foundation. The foundation-funded Life is good Playmakers program provides training for childcare professionals who work with kids buffeted by trauma in their young lives. To date, the company has raised a stunning 9.5 million dollars for kids in need, through its products, annual Life is good Festival, and other community fundraising initiatives.
You call capitalism “the most powerful tool for social change.” Well said. Today, with our every blessing, the Bentley Class of 2013 joins you in the vital work of aligning profit and principle.
Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and by the Bentley University Board of Trustees, we confer upon you, Bert Jacobs, and upon you, John Jacobs, the honorary degree Doctor of Commercial Science, honoris causa. We hold it both a pleasure and an honor to do so.