U.S. Olympians Cross Finish Line as DeVry University Graduates

By DeVry University

Focused. Tough. Determined.

Six Team USA athletes crossed the finish line, but instead of medals they were awarded diplomas. Since November 2011, DeVry University has partnered with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as an official education provider for Team USA, and the first six USOC DeVry students graduated this November 2014. Four additional athletes are expected to graduate in December.

“For me, going back to school has been a balancing act,” said Will Brady, a recent DeVry University graduate and U.S. pentathlete. “It’s included juggling school projects and deadlines during competitions abroad, maintaining a rigorous training schedule, working and finding time for my family, including my young daughter.”

The traits of a stand-out athlete – hard work, dedication and non-stop drive – translate well to the classroom. Like Brady, many Team USA student athletes balance their education with a full schedule of work, training and family commitments. Staying focused on the ultimate reward pushes them to succeed.

The Team USA athletes who have recently graduated from DeVry University or its Keller Graduate School of Management, or are expected to graduate this December include:

•  Mike Alexandrov (2004, 2008 Olympic swimmer for Bulgaria; joined USA swimming in 2009) – Master of Business Administration, concentration in human resources

•  Tony Benshoof (2002, 2006, 2010 Olympian in luge) – Master of Business Administration, concentration in hospitality management

•  Will Brady (Olympic hopeful in modern pentathlon) – Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Design and Development, concentration in graphic and multimedia design

•  Ryan Carlyle (Olympic hopeful in rugby) – Master of Business Administration, concentration in international business

•  James Davis (Olympic hopeful in track & field) – Master of Business Administration, concentration in finance

•  Erin Donohue (2008  Olympian in track and field) – Master of Accounting and Financial Management, concentration in CPA exam preparation

•  Alexandra Harbord (Olympic hopeful in canoe) – Master of Public Administration, concentration in nonprofit management

•  Tim Harden (1996 Olympian in track and field) – Bachelor of Science in Technical Management, concentration in health services management

•  Clinton Jones (2002, 2006 Olympic ski jumper) – Associate of Applied Science in Web Graphic Design

“We take great pride in educating our Team USA student athletes and are proud to see them ready to pursue their career goals,” said Rob Paul, president of DeVry University. “We hope our student athletes’ stories inspire others to never give up on their educational pursuits -- graduation is the springboard to a lifetime of success. We offer our sincerest congratulations to all our graduates for persevering and achieving their educational goals.”

“At times it was a struggle, but that is what made this journey such a rewarding experience,” said Brady. “I am proud of myself for going back to school and thankful for the support I’ve received along the way from DeVry University and the USOC.”

To date, DeVry University has provided higher education opportunities for more than 180 Team USA athletes. The Team USA athletes created a video to share their personal #Reasons2Finish.