Venus Williams already knows plenty about the business of tennis, given that she has seven Grand Slam singles titles and is currently competing at the U.S. Open. She also knows about the business of fashion, with her own clothing line, EleVen, and an associate’s degree in fashion design that she earned in 2007.
Now we cannot only add that Williams knows a lot about Business Administration, we can offer her congratulations, given that she recently earned a degree in that field from Indiana University East. Williams was even able to attend her August graduation ceremony in Richmond, Ind., as she happened to be competing in a tournament relatively nearby.
That was her first visit to the IUE campus, as the 35-year-old Williams had enrolled in online classes in 2011, taking advantage of a program set up by the WTA in conjunction with the school. One of the tour’s biggest stars is now the first graduate of the program, in which 15 other WTA players are participating.
“It was like family, like it was my school, and I was so excited. It’s been an incredible journey,” Williams said (via IUE.edu).
“I’ve learned so much. It was always my dream to have a business degree and I ended up going to art school so many times, but in the back of my head I felt like I needed the tools to be a better leader, to be a better planner, to be better at all of the things I wanted to do in my businesses because I’m so hands-on.”
“Venus was instrumental in connecting IU East and the WTA in this highly valued partnership, and we are very grateful for this,” IU East Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe said. “I greatly admire Venus and her dedication to complete her online degree while continuing to play professional tennis, train, and run a business full-time.
“I can only imagine how challenging this has been, and I know that Venus has been a great role model for the other WTA players enrolled at IU East as well as to students in her classes.”
With that goal accomplished, Williams is set on another one, winning the U.S. Open. She hasn’t done that since 2001, and most observers have already handed the trophy to her sister, Serena, but with a win Wednesday, Venus moved into the third round and could face her sibling in the quarterfinals.