Rob Riggle, one of the most recognizable Jayhawk alumni, will be honored this year as the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas.
Riggle graduated from KU in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in theatre and film. Following a career with the U.S. Marine Corps, Riggle became well-known in comedic films and television. He is also known for his philanthropic efforts and as an enthusiastic fan of KU.
“Rob Riggle’s accomplished and varied career exemplifies the many paths open to graduates with a well-rounded education in the liberal arts and sciences,” said Clarence Lang, interim dean of the college in a news release. “We are pleased to recognize him and welcome him back to campus.”
The college will host “An Evening with Rob Riggle” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Burge Union. Tickets are required, and free, at the Kansas Union.
In a Q&A with the college, Riggle shared how his KU education influenced his career.
“My theatre and film degree helped me tremendously in pursuing my dreams,” he said. “Unless you’re going to specialize in a certain field, like medicine or accounting, I think you should seek an education that is well-rounded. You should seek social and emotional intelligence as well as academic intelligence.”
Riggle is known for his roles in “The Hangover,” “Step Brothers,” his stints on “Saturday Night Live” and as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
His most recent film appearance was “Night School” with Kevin Hart, which debuted at the top of the box office this fall.
An avid supporter of KU athletics, Riggle has been spotted regularly at football and basketball games. Last spring in the NCAA Final Four against Villanova, Riggle was the sideline reporter on the Kansas TeamCast broadcast on TNT.
He hosted KU’s Late Night in the Phog in 2013 and served as the grand marshal of the KU Homecoming Parade in 2014. Sports fans may also know Riggle from the “Riggle’s Picks” skits during NFL coverage on FOX, or his podcast of the same name.
Riggle has also maintained connections in the Kansas City area. In 2010 he founded the Big Slick Celebrity Weekend in Kansas City, Mo., an annual fundraising event benefiting Children’s Mercy. He and other celebrity hosts have raised more than $6 million since it began.
Riggle grew up in Overland Park and attended Shawnee Mission South High School.
This fall, Riggle will also be recognized by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America for having served more than 23 years in the Marines. Initially joining at 19, Riggle served nine years active duty and 14 years in the reserves, earning more than 22 medals and ribbons.
For more information about the distinguished alumni award, visit college.ku.edu/distinguished-alumni.