Some how or another, between his NBA, movie and rap careers, Shaq found the time to complete multiple degree progams over the past 10-15 years. This past weekend, he attended his commencement ceremony at Barry University, with his girlfriend Hoopz by his side, and accepted a doctoral degree in Education with emphasis on Organizational Learning and Leadership and Human Resources. While on stage, he stooped to one knee so that his professor could place a hood around his neck and then he reportedly swept the professor up off his feet like Tarzan in front of the cheering crowd.
This is truly motivating and proves that you can do anything you set your mind to! Over the past few years, Shaq’s schedule became so hectic that he had to fly his professors to him for one-on-one sessions which took place in various states at his expense. Back in 1992, Shaq left college early to enter the NBA Draft but returned a few years later to Louisiana State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in General Studies as a promise to his mother. He eventually earned an MBA through the University of Phoenix online degree program before enrolling in Barry’s doctoral program. Although some folks will wonder if Shaq took the easy route out and paid for an honorary degree, he says that is not the case:
Everyone thinks this is honorary. But this is not honorary. I put in four and a half hard years staying up late at night, studying, reading, rewriting papers Dr. Kopp marked up.
His mom also added:
I’m proud because I know he earned that title,” Lucille O’Neal said. “With all the money he’s got, he could have [paid for an honorary degree]. But he didn’t. And now I get to call him Dr. O’Neal.
Another Barry University graduate that was in attendance at the ceremony voiced how much he admired Shaq for proving that education does not stop:
“What he did just shows education doesn’t stop. He’s already been successful and has decided to take his career another step forward. As a millionaire athlete he could probably not do anything, just relax, retire. But he still wants more. I admire that. We all admire that.”
The work was very rigorous, but very enjoyable. And I’m not done. I think I’m going to try law school next. I’m thinking about it. We’ll see.
the more you know.