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Allen Lazard to receive Robert D. and Billie Ray Character Award

DES MOINES, Iowa (February 13, 2023) – The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University has named Iowan Allen Lazard as the 2023 Robert D. and Bille Ray Ray Pillar of Character Award recipient.

Allen Lazard will accept the award on April 14 at The Ray Center’s All-Star Evening in West Des Moines. An All-Star Evening is presented by Hy-Vee and benefits The Ray Center’s programs, including CHARACTER COUNTS!

“Allen is everything this award represents,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “He demonstrates outstanding character and leadership on and off the field. Allen is a role model to the next generation and exemplifies what it means to lead with kindness, humility, and a commitment to serving others. We are honored to present Allen with this award.”

This award is The Ray Center’s highest honor. It is presented each spring to an individual who demonstrates good character as a role model and reflects former Gov. Robert D. and Billie Ray’s lifelong commitment to civility and character development. Past recipients include Norman Borlaug, Hayden Fry, Dan Gable, Fred Hoiberg, Shawn Johnson, Ashton Kutcher, and Dr. Peggy Whitson.

For more information about An All-Star Evening, including how to purchase tickets, visit

About Mr. Lazard
Allen Lazard may be best known for setting football records for Iowa State University and the Green Bay Packers. An Iowa native, Lazard has also developed a reputation for giving back to his community.

Lazard was considered one of the nation’s best high school football prospects and a four-star recruit. In early 2014, Lazard announced that he was committing to Iowa State University.

Lazard broke records during his time at Iowa State University as a wide receiver and received many accolades. Lazard became the greatest receiver in Iowa State history during the 2017 season and was named First-Team All-Big 12. During his final year with the Iowa State Cyclones, his teammates voted him team captain, speaking volumes of his character.

Following his journey at Iowa State, Lazard signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Lazard remained with the Jaguars’ until he accepted an offer from the Green Bay Packers. He played with the Packers for five seasons and is now a free agent.

Lazard’s success at Iowa State and Green Bay gave him a platform to give back to his community through his nonprofit organization, At The Top, which focuses on supporting veterans. In addition to supporting other nonprofit organizations, Lazard spends time with pediatric patients at his local hospitals.

Passionate about giving back to his Iowa community and connecting with local youth, Lazard consistently returns to Iowa to create memorable moments. He spends time with his high school football team, surprises students and families on their way to school, hosts youth football camps, and more.

As a graduate of the Urbandale School District, Lazard is an alumnus of CHARACTER COUNTS! schools.

About The Ray Center
Our mission is to improve civility through character development and ethical leadership. Through public awareness and programming grounded in research, The Ray Center helps create strong, vibrant communities that value positive, healthy relationships and respectful behavior. As the global home to CHARACTER COUNTS!, our initiatives benefit people of all ages and are easily adaptable for families, schools, workplaces, athletic teams, and more.


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Allen Lazard