Unlike many of his famous counterparts Shaquille O’Neal wasn’t willing to sit by and collect a bunch of honorary degrees so he could call himself a doctor, instead Shaq spent 4½ years at Miami university to earn a PhD in education.
Shaq this week graduated with his higher degree in Organizational Learning and Leadership with a specialization in human resource development. to complete the PhD the former NBA star, now retired, had to complete 16 courses for 54 credit hours. The all-star is said to have completed his classes with a 3.813 GPA and to top off his time at Miami university he presented a doctoral dissertation titled “How Leaders Utilize Humor or Seriousness in Leadership Roles.”
Speaking of the NBA legends time at the University the chair of his program called him a “good student” who was fighting a tight schedule.
In fact during his final playing days Shaquille O’Neal would on several occasions fly his professors to his various occasions to hold one-on-one classroom sessions, trips that O’Neal paid for to ensure he stayed on top of his coursework.
When a professor was not able to travel to visit with Shaq he would often video conference with them and when possible attend actual classes on campus.
While Shaq says his degree will come in handy during his post-NBA career as a businessman he really received the degree for his mom who Shaq says really “stressed the importance of education.” Shaq goes on to note:
“I’m smart enough to know that, even at my tender age, my pursuit of education is never finished.”
It’s nice to know Shaquille O’Neal didn’t just skate by on his fame, although that would have likely been very easy to accomplish.