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University of Phoenix Celebrates Alumna and World Champion Gail Marquis

New Brand Campaign Recognizes Athlete, Businesswoman and Mentor

PHOENIX, Aug. 9, 2016 — As the world comes together this summer to watch sports history be made, University of Phoenix honors Gail Marquis, a World Champion basketball player. The University’s campaign serves to feature and acknowledge Marquis as a World Champion athlete, recognizing her lifelong accomplishments—on and off the court.

As a World Champion, prominent Wall Street executive, MBA graduate and dedicated mentor, Marquis is a true inspiration to the University of Phoenix community. Her impressive career in finance followed her professional basketball career, which includes her placement in the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. Today, the new University of Phoenix brand campaign serves as an inspiring platform to showcase Marquis’ impressive academic and professional careers in addition to her sporting achievements, with content set to Maya Angelou’s moving poem Still I Rise.  

Marquis’ story serves as an inspiration. In a world that didn’t recognize women’s basketball as an entertaining and competitive sport, her efforts, and those of her teammates, ultimately changed the game forever. Marquis not only helped build her high school's first girls' basketball team, but she went on to gain All-American status at Queens College (NY) and play for the National Championship. She then went on to become one of the first American women to live and play basketball internationally with a French team for three years.

After receiving her World Champion title, she sought further success beyond athletics. Tackling a new challenge, Marquis thrived in another highly competitive environment: with several prominent financial firms on Wall Street, where she worked for 30 years.

“As a World Champion athlete, I know just how much hard work and dedication go into achieving your dreams—whether it be in sports, education, career or in a relationship,” said Marquis. “Like many of my fellow athletes, my dreams didn’t end with basketball. I took my determination to Wall Street, where after decades of success, I still wanted more. Accomplishing my educational goals has enabled me to teach other students what it takes to forge their own path to greatness.”

Marquis earned her Master of Business Administration degree from University of Phoenix in 2006, after decades of success on Wall Street. Marquis earned her MBA to fulfill one more dream of hers: advanced higher education. Today, she uses that degree as Director of Community Outreach for the School of Business and the Business Development Incubator at New Jersey City University (NJ), where she acts as a liaison between the businesses and corporations and the students, empowering those coming from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds that: No matter who you are, you belong. She challenges students to step out of their comfort zone to meet those challenges.

From basketball, to business, to education, Marquis has changed the game in more ways than one. Today, she is a leader in business and the community. She and her wife, Audrey Smaltz, former Ebony Fashion Fair Commentator and CEO and Founder of The Ground Crew, continue to fight for the cause of human rights equality after winning their own marriage battle after twelve years. Breaking records and breaking barriers, Marquis embodies the gold standard that University of Phoenix is proud to graduate.

“Gail Marquis shares the same traits found in so many University of Phoenix students—grit and determination. They are driven to overcome obstacles and willing to put in the hard work required to get a higher education, often while raising a family or working a full-time job,” said Timothy P. Slottow, president of University of Phoenix. “University of Phoenix believes in the power of a college degree to change the lives of students, their families and future generations. That is why we work tirelessly to support working adults and diverse students as they pursue a career-relevant higher education.”

More about Marquis’ story can be seen here.

For more information about each of these programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit: phoenix.edu/programs/gainful-employment.

About the University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.