ST. LOUIS, Missouri — Harris-Stowe State University at St. Louis has honored Crestview resident and alumnus Leon Daggs Jr. with recognition reserved for few individuals.

Daggs, the president and CEO of Hub City Ford Inc. in Crestview, accepted the 2017 Harriet Beecher Stowe Award and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during the college's May commencement ceremony. 

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Award is given in recognition of the abolitionist author's spirit and the significant impact she had on the social issues of her day. The university president's highest honor highlights individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the school. Daggs is one of the first two people presented with the award, which is in its inaugural year.

"This year's presentation was extremely rewarding because I had the pleasure of recognizing a member of our Hornet family," Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, university president, said.

The honorary doctorate degree is given to individuals whose outstanding achievements exhibit an unwavering commitment to the university's goal of inspiring change in individuals and the community.

The week was a special one for his alma mater as well, according to a university media release. Daggs launched the Leon Daggs, Jr. Endowed Scholarship. The gift is one of the largest ever bestowed by an alumnus and will further the university's goal of providing opportunities for underrepresented youths in under-resourced communities by providing renewable scholarships to incoming freshmen at Harris-Stowe.

Daggs accomplished his dream of a military career as a Navy officer. Over the next 20 years, Daggs furthered his career working at Proctor and Gamble, McDonnell Douglas, and Ford Motor Company. 

After seven years in management at Ford, he became an auto dealer. Daggs has owned six different dealerships, winning numerous awards. He has won "Top Profit Award for Ford-Lincoln-Mercury Minority Dealers" over 10 times.

He also received the Ford Motor Company President's Award (top dealer award) and has been one of Black Enterprise Magazine's Top 100 Minority Dealers for over 25 years.