Former NFL Standout Vincent Rey ’06 to Speak at Commencement May 23
Vincent Rey ’06, who played nine seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League and was twice nominated for the NFL’s prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, will give the address at Mercersburg Academy’s Virtual Commencement ceremony for its graduating Class of 2020 Saturday, May 23. Rey will deliver his speech during the ceremony, which will be broadcast online beginning at 10 a.m. ET.
“We are thrilled to announce Vinny Rey as the Commencement speaker for the Class of 2020,” says Associate Head of School for School Life Julia Stojak Maurer ’90. “He is an accomplished athlete, an effective leader, and a wonderful human being who gives selflessly to his community. I remember him fondly from his time at Mercersburg in my robotics class.”
Rey, a graduate of Mercersburg and of Duke University, worked his way up from going undrafted to playing in 128 games for the Bengals from 2010 to 2018. He started 50 games at linebacker and tallied 497 career tackles and six sacks, five interceptions, and a touchdown. Rey was also a four-year team captain, was the Bengals’ leading tackler during the 2014, 2015, and 2017 seasons, and was nominated for the NFL’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award along with the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Off the field, Rey has been involved with a number of charitable organizations, including the United Way, the Aruna Project, Lighthouse Youth Services, and REYspect Academy, a program in Cincinnati public schools. During his playing career, he also tutored seventh- and eighth-graders in math on Tuesdays, which is the typical “off day” for NFL players during the season.
“When we spoke to Mr. Rey, he effused gratitude and excitement for the invitation to be our Commencement speaker," says Jesse Zhang ’20, the president of the senior class. "It’s clear that he cares a great deal about our class, which is going through a difficult end to our senior year. We’re excited to hear about his experiences as a student at the Academy, as a professional athlete, and as a philanthropist who helps foster communities. His message will be valuable to us as we depart Mercersburg and set off into the wider world.”
A native of Queens, NY, Rey led Mercersburg’s football team to the 2005 Mid-Atlantic Prep League championship, and also wrestled and competed in outdoor track & field. He earned second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors at Duke, where he was a two-year team captain and was named a University Scholar Athlete by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Rey’s wife, Noel, is an attorney. The Reys live in Cincinnati with their two daughters, and have a third child on the way.
Mercersburg’s Class of 2020 includes 123 members, representing 16 American states (plus the District of Columbia) and 13 nations of the world. (Click here to download the digital program for Commencement.)