The Chicago Tribune: Shaq becomes Dr. O'Neal, graduates from Barry University with doctoral degree

May 7th, 2012

The Chicago Tribune
May 7, 2012

He’s officially Dr. O’Neal now.

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal received his doctoral degree in Education from Barry University Saturday morning alongside another 1,100 students during multiple commencement ceremonies at the James L. Knight Center.

Like all things done by the four-time world champion, 15-time All-Star, movie star, rapper and entertainer, O’Neal, 40, received his degree in Organizational Learning and Leadership with a specialization in Human Resource Development in style.

Wearing a bright red XXXL-sized robe, the 7-foot, 1, 325-pound retired center got on one knee on stage so Dr. David M. Kopp could place a light blue hood around his big neck. O’Neal celebrated by standing up and lifting up Kopp like Tarzan rescuing Jane. The moment, which was being captured by TV cameras and student’s cell phones, brought on loud cheers from the crowd.

O’Neal then walked over hugged Terry Piper the dean for the school of education before posing for photos with his cap, gown and hood like all the other students. On his way back to his seat, alongside his manager Cynthia Atterberry, who also received a doctorate in education, O’Neal strolled by a star struck row of graduates handing out high-fives like he was walking past teammates on the bench.

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