DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS
Bert Jacobs ’87 CLAS is the co-founder and CEO (Chief Executive Optimist) of Life is Good. The company spreads the power of optimism through inspiring art, a passionate community, and groundbreaking nonprofit work.
Bert and his brother John launched their business with $78 in their pockets, selling t-shirts in the streets of Boston and at college dorms up and down the East Coast. Today, Life is Good is a $100 million positive lifestyle brand sold by more than 2,000 retailers across the US and Canada.
Early on, Bert and John were inspired by stories of people, mainly children, facing great adversity. These stories illustrated that optimism is most powerful in the darkest of times and inspired the creation of a fully integrated business model dedicated to helping kids in need. Life is Good donates at least 10% of its annual net profits to the Life is Good Kids Foundation to positively impact more than 1 million kids every year facing poverty, violence, and illness.
Bert focuses his energy on guiding overall vision and creating the art and message for the brand across categories. To inspire others to choose optimism and grow the good in their lives, Bert and John wrote Life is Good: The Book/ How to Live with Purpose and Enjoy the Ride, published by National Geographic in September 2015.
Bert earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and has been awarded honorary doctorates from several universities for entrepreneurship, business innovation and philanthropy. He and Life is Good have been featured on CNNMoney, CNBC’s Business Nation, ABC News’ Nightline, NBC’s The Today Show, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, and Men’s Health Magazine, among others.