September’s ceremony featured speaker Lisa Leslie, former WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist, who offered advice to graduates on the power of remaining humble as leaders.
Former WNBA star and Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie’s virtual message to University of Phoenix’s Class of 2020 was sage advice for moving forward as leaders in unprecedented circumstances: Embrace the same humility and commitment to others that drove you to complete your degree in the first place.
“As a student, I regularly felt like I was putting everyone and everything before myself,” Leslie told the more than 2,200 graduates during the live-streamed YouTube ceremony on Sept. 12. “But in the end, that sacrifice, that humility, shaped me in ways that have defined my life forever.”
Leslie knows what it’s like to be a working adult balancing a career and a life at home while also taking courses. She completed her MBA at University of Phoenix in her final season with the Los Angeles Sparks, playing in her last Olympic games, writing a biography and being a mom to her daughter.
It’s a juggling act Leslie said she knows most Phoenixes can identify with, as are the characteristics of humility and selflessness. These same characteristics are what will help people come together to bring an eventual end to the pandemic and the civil unrest that faces our country today by standing up for what’s right for others, Leslie said.
“Let us lead the way by showing what it means to be a Phoenix, what it means to put others before ourselves,” she said.
The University’s commencement ceremony—the second virtual graduation event since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic—logged thousands of attendees.