Miami Shores, Fla. – NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal can now be referred to as “Dr. O’Neal,” following his graduation from Barry University on May 5 with a doctoral degree in Education.
O’Neal joined more than 1,100 Barry students who graduated during multiple Commencement ceremonies at the James L. Knight Center in Miami. O’Neal was enrolled in Barry’s Adrian Dominican School of Education and received his doctoral degree in Organizational Learning and Leadership with a specialization in Human Resource Development.
For the past four-and-half years, O’Neal pursued his doctoral degree in Education while juggling the roles of athlete, student, and entrepreneur. He completed the requirements of the doctoral program while adhering to the grueling NBA schedule prior to his retirement last year as well as fulfilling commitments in broadcasting and business.
O’Neal achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.813 while completing 54 credit hours, comprised of 16 courses and six credit hours of self-directed research under the guidance of Dr. David M. Kopp, chair of Barry’s Organizational Learning and Leadership program. In addition to attending class on Barry’s campus and participating in academic sessions with university professors and administrators, O’Neal’s instruction was provided via satellite classrooms, video conferencing and Blackboard.com.
As part of his graduation requirement, O’Neal presented his Doctoral Capstone Project titled, “How Leaders Utilize Humor or Seriousness in Leadership Styles,” to Barry faculty and administrators.
In 2000, O’Neal returned to the campus of Louisiana State University to complete studies for his Bachelor of Science in General Studies – a promise made to his mother at the time he was drafted by the Orlando Magic. He received his MBA in 2005.
“This is for my mother, who always stressed the importance of education,” O’Neal said. “I am proud to have achieved a doctoral degree and wish to thank my professors and Barry University for helping make this dream a reality. I’m smart enough to know that, even at my tender age, my pursuit of education is never finished.”