Arts & Entertainment and Education

Captain Phillips turns to Grand Rapids

March 7, 2014
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Captain Phillips turns to Grand Rapids
Richard Phillips. Courtesy Davenport University

The hero of the Oscar-nominated film “Captain Phillips” is coming to talk business in Grand Rapids.

Gala speaker

The real Captain Richard Phillips, who was portrayed by superstar Tom Hanks in the acclaimed film “Captain Phillips,” will be speaking at Davenport University’s annual Excellence in Business Gala, at 6 p.m., May 2, at DeVos Place.

The event helps support the university’s scholarships and is Davenport’s largest annual fundraiser, said Peg Luy, executive vice president of alumni and development.

Phillips was the center of national attention in 2009 when Somali pirates hijacked his container ship.

His experience was recorded in the 2013 film and in his book, “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea.”

Captain Phillips,” directed by Paul Greengrass, was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Barkhad Abdi, who portrayed the Somali pirate leader, Abduwali Muse. For his role as Phillips, Hanks was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award.

“His courageous story is intriguing and inspirational," said Davenport President Richard Pappas. “Gala attendees will be interested to match up what really happened from Captain Phillips’ perspective with what they saw on the news and in the movie.”


The gala will honor Blake Krueger, CEO and president of Rockford-based Wolverine Worldwide, with the 2014 Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award.

Pappas said the event will be “a true celebration of business excellence” exemplified by Krueger, "who has achieved so much."

People can reserve tickets for the event online.

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