As the calendar moves deeper into May, many colleges have begun shipping fresh-faced young people into the world with grandiose graduation ceremonies. The commencement speakers, class sizes, and attendance of each is different, but usually the message delivered to graduates is the same: go tackle the world and don't let its obstacles discourage you from achieving your goals.
One member of the graduating class of 2016 definitely doesn't need this advice, but only because he's 32 years old and an incredibly accomplished wide receiver in the NFL. His name is Larry Fitzgerald, and he's now the official owner of a degree in communications and marketing from the University of Phoenix.
Fitzgerald enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002, but left after his sophomore year in 2004 to declare for the NFL draft. The Arizona Cardinals promptly picked him up and he's been a part of the team ever since. Even with a successful career and millions of dollars to his name, though, he never forgot the promise he made to his mother Carol — who died from breast cancer in 2003 — to finish his degree.
According to ESPN, she told Larry that "education is one thing nobody can ever take from you. I know you have a passion to play ball, but education is something you can carry for the rest of your life."
Clearly he took the words to heart, because more than a decade after starting, he's finally completed his studies and proved education is as important to him now as it was before he became a star in the NFL.