Miles College has partnered with Shaquille O’Neal to launch his HBCU (Historically Black College & University) Initiative. O’Neal joined Miles College’s President Bobbie Knight to announce his new business venture, which is to bring a Papa John’s to every Historically Black College & University Campus.
“Miles College is honored to partner with Shaquille and welcome him to our historic and beautiful campus. Shaquille is a skilled investor, savvy entrepreneur, and marketing and branding genius,” said Miles College President Bobbie Knight. “This partnership tells the world that this is Miles College’s day, and this is Miles College’s time to show America that HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) can join icons like Shaquille and launch business ventures on our campuses like a Papa John’s,” states Knight.
A four-time NBA champion and television sports analyst on Inside the NBA, Mr. O’Neal has established a strong business track record as an investor, restaurateur and franchise owner. He currently owns a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise in Atlanta and previously owned 27 Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises. In addition, he is the founder and owner of Big Chicken, a fast-casual fried chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Shaquille’s, a fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles, California. He is also a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise. Most importantly, education is the primary centerpiece of Dr. O’Neal’s life. He holds a B.A. degree in general studies, with a Minor in Political Science from LSU. In 2005, he earned an MBA degree from the University of Phoenix, and in 2012, he received an Ed.D. in Human Resources Development from Barry University.
“HBCUs have paved the way for African Americans and people of other races to deservedly receive a quality education. HBCUs have been pivotal in the development of young minds, influential in highlighting the history and culture of African Americans, and effectively provided a means for academic success. It is in these great halls of these wonderful institutions that students saw their potential magnified and exemplified,” states O’Neal. “Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘If you want to move people, it has to be toward a vision that’s positive for them, that taps important values, that gets them something they desire and it has to be presented in a compelling way, so that they feel inspired to follow.’ Today, I ask you to catch the same vision that the noble founders of HBCUs held in carving out a venue to education, independence, and success. Join me and President Bobbie Knight of the great Miles College, as we move toward a business initiative that will open avenues of opportunities for our HBCUs. Today is our day! This is our time!”