Very few people are iconic enough to be known by a single name, and one of those individuals will be the keynote speaker for the University of the Cumberlands’ 12th Annual Excellence in Leadership Series, which is sponsored by The Forcht Group of Kentucky.
Former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, who is better known as Shaq, has been selected as the keynote speaker for the lecture series that will take place on Wednesday, April 5 at 7 p.m. in the O. Wayne Rollins Center at the University of the Cumberlands.
Ticket registration for the event will begin soon.
O’Neal is best known for his NBA career spanning nearly two decades and earning him the sport’s highest honors, including membership in the NBA Hall of Fame. The four-time NBA Champion, 15-time NBA All Star and three-time NBA Finals MVP has been named one of the most influential athletes by Forbes magazine, in addition to being the highest ranked NBA athlete on Nielsen’s State of the Media: Year in Sports 2010 and Business Week’s Power Sports 100.
O’Neal isn’t only a legendary athlete. He has also established himself as a powerful media personality and businessman over the years. Ranked among “The 100 Most Creative People in Business” last year by Fast Company magazine, O’Neal is currently an NBA analyst on TNT’s Emmy-award winning show, “Inside the NBA on TNT.”
In addition to being an early investor in companies such as Google, O’Neal has managed an increasingly robust personal brand, which has included television shows, a shoe line and social media/tech products. The first verified celebrity account on Twitter, O’Neal announced his NBA retirement via Tout, a new social media app that allows users to tape 15-second video statuses.
UC’s annual lecture series is made possible by an endowment from local business owners Dr. Terry and Mrs. Marion Forcht, who founded The Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership in 2006.
“We’re very excited that Shaquille O’Neal is coming to speak at this event. We look forward to hearing his inspirational story,” said Forcht Group Chairman Terry Forcht.
The purpose of the Center is to provide programs and activities that enhance the development of leadership, character and good citizenship. Past speakers in the series have included Roy Moore, Zell Miller, Stephen Covey, Ben Stein, Karl Rove, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, Charles Krauthammer, Dr. Ben Carson, Fred Thompson, and Dr. William “Will” Franklin Graham IV, the grandson of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham.
Free tickets will be available to the leadership program on the University of the Cumberlands’ website, http://www.ucumberlands.edu/tickets. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis and are required for admission.
Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; ten pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.