That's Dr. Shaq to you: Shaquille O'Neal graduates Saturday from Barry University with a PhD, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. The retired NBA star's doctoral degree, earned after 4½ years at the Miami university, is in education—or, if you want to get technical, Organizational Learning and Leadership with a specialization in human resource development. He completed 16 courses, or 54 credit hours, with a 3.813 GPA, and presented his doctoral dissertation, "How Leaders Utilize Humor or Seriousness in Leadership Roles," two weeks ago.
"He was a good student," says the chair of his program, but of course, he had a bit of a tight schedule. Professors often flew to him at various locations around the country to hold one-on-one classes, travel that O'Neal paid for. He also sometimes used video conferencing or even, occasionally, attended class on campus. O'Neal will use the degree in his post-NBA career as an entrepreneur, but says in a press release that he really got it for his mother, "who always stressed the importance of education. … I'm smart enough to know that, even at my tender age, my pursuit of education is never finished." (He joins Tyra Banks, who is now officially a Harvard alum.)