Miles College teams up with Shaquille O’Neal to launch HBCU initiative

Birmingham, Alabama, HBCU, Miles College
Brown Hall, built in 1927, represents one of the older buildings on the Miles College campus. Photo by Bham Now

One of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game, Shaquille O’Neal, will be in Birmingham area at Miles College on Saturday, October 26, to launch a new HBCU (Historically Black College & University) Initiative.

Papa John’s on Every Campus

1 1 Miles College teams up with Shaquille O'Neal to launch HBCU initiative
Photo courtesy of PRNewswire

In a joint announcement with Miles College’s President Bobbie Knight, O’Neal will announce a new business venture, which is to bring a Papa John’s to every Historically Black College & University Campus.

The event will take place at the Miles College Student Activity Center at Noon.

“Miles College is honored to partner with Shaquille and welcome him to our historic and beautiful campus,” said Miles College President Bobbie Knight, in a recent news release.  “Shaquille is a skilled investor, savvy entrepreneur, and marketing and branding genius. 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.”

A popular television sports analyst on Inside the NBA, 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.


Birmingham, Alabama, HBCU, Miles College, Carver High Schools
Angela Lake (second from left), academy coordinator at G. W. Carver High School, with students (from left) Odom, Jackson, McClendon and Smithon a recent visit to Miles College. Photo by Bham Now

Education has an important component in O’Neal’s life.  A graduate of LSU, he earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2005 and a doctorate in Human Resources Development from Barry University.

“Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have paved the way for African Americans and people of other races to deservedly receive a quality education,” added O’Neal.  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.

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!” declared O’Neal.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

Articles: 2165