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WESTON (CBS) — Red Sox legend David Ortiz received an honorary degree from Regis College Saturday. Big Papi grew emotional as he spoke to graduates about the importance of family and pointed out his father in the crowd.

“My parents always wanted me to be as educated as possible. They knew that if my baseball career didn’t work out, that I would have something to fall back on,” explained Ortiz.

“I am very impressed and proud of each and every one of you for being here today. You have all the tools you need to be successful. Hard work and preparation were the most important to me in my career. There are not successful people in this world who do not work hard every day or who do not prepare every day to overcome challenges,” he said.

David Ortiz and Dan Rivera received honorary degrees from Regis College Saturday (Photo Courtesy: Regis College)

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera also received an honorary degree. Rivera has become a more prominent political leader in the state after the Merrimack Valley gas explosions in Sept.

“I will tell you this one thing that has been crucial in my life, that’s my embracing of my failures,” said Rivera. “I have made many failures in my life, and every one of them have made me a better soldier, a better marketing professional, a better husband and a better father. They have trained me to be a strong mayor for my community in the darkest hours. You have to strike out a lot to hit a lot of home runs.”

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