Basketball great Dwyane Wade told Marquette University’s Class of 2022 Sunday to take time for solitude, practice self-awareness and infuse passion in their future journey.
Wade returned to Milwaukee to receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Marquette and serve as the school’s commencement speaker.
Wade beamed and threw his hands in the air when University President Michael Lovell handed him his degree.
Probably one of Marquette’s most recognizable alum, Wade attended Marquette from 2000-03 and left early for the NBA draft. He became an NBA superstar who won three championships, an Olympic gold medal in 2008 and a place on the NBA’s list of the 75 greatest players ever.
Wade spoke to 1,942 undergraduates at American Family Insurance Amphitheater on the Summerfest grounds. Graduate students were recognized later in the day.
“Today, we celebrate what you have accomplished as we should,” Wade said. “Tomorrow, wake up to begin the next leg of your journey. Your passion. I repeat your passion lies on the journey.:
He told the graduating class it wasn’t until former Marquette basketball coach Tom Crean visited his home with a university cap and gown while Wade was still in high school that he started thinking about his future.
“He wasn’t recruiting me just because of my basketball abilities, but also because he believed that I wanted more for myself and my family,” Wade said. “Coach Crean recognized me as someone worthy, and was giving me a chance to prove myself.”
Wade went on to talk about how he has matured. Now 40, Wade retired in 2019.
“As we become more self-aware, we achieve a better understanding of who we are,” Wade said. “We discover our values. Our character. What we consider to be right or wrong. We discover what drives us, what inspires us and motivates us. Through self-awareness we are given the opportunity to design who we truly want and deserve to be.”
On Sunday the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee graduated more than 3,500 students during two ceremonies.
Actor and UWM alum Willem Dafoe was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree and gave the commencement address.
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