RICHMOND, IN, USA - Professional tennis player, Grand Slam champion, and now, college graduate: Sloane Stephens is officially an Indiana University East alumna after completing her B.A. in Communication Studies degree.
Part of a partnership that the WTA, along with WTBA (Women’s Tennis Benefits Association), has with Indiana University East is an opportunity for players to gain baccalaureate degrees online while competing on the tour. Twenty players are currently enrolled in the program.
Though Stephens completed her degree online, she visited IU East to tour the campus and take part in a diploma celebration.
“Getting my degree has been the highlight of my life," said reining US Open champion Stephens at the reception.
She added, “Education has always been very important for myself and my family. Many in my family are college graduates and receiving my degree has been a goal of mine. I’m so excited to work closely with the WTA and Indiana University East to make this a reality.
“I enjoyed coming to the campus, meeting many of the people who helped me along the way and of course receiving my diploma."
The 24-year-old spent the day at the university’s Richmond campus to receive her degree, and to meet Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe, Executive Vice Chancellor Michelle Malott, her professors and fellow IU East students.
Stephens is one of five WTA players to graduate under the agreement, joining the likes of fellow IU East alumnae Venus Williams. Alla Kudryavtseva and Irina Falconi. Also graduating this December is Katalin Marosi with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
WTA CEO and Chairman Steve Simon said, “On behalf of the entire WTA organization, we congratulate Sloane on furthering her education and earning a college degree. To achieve what she has done both on the court and in the classroom over the last few years is truly remarkable. Her hard work and dedication to her career as well as her future shows that she is truly one of our game’s most impactful role models.”