June 13, 2009
Troy Aikman, who quarterbacked UCLA to a 20-4 record during the 1987 and 1988 seasons, participated in the Sociology Department Commencement this morning on the UCLA campus. Aikman earned his degree earlier this year and walked with over 450 other graduates.
A member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, Aikman was joined by his wife Rhonda, two of his daughters, his mother and one of his sisters. His family sat in the crowd while Aikman sat with the other students receiving their degrees.
Aikman was not the only Bruin football player in attendance. All-America quarterback John Sciarra, who led the Bruins to victory in the 1976 Rose Bowl, was the keynote speaker while linebacker Marcus Reece also returned to participate in the graduation ceremony. Current quarterback Kevin Craft, who will graduate after Fall Quarter, was also in cap and gown.
Sciarra spoke very well. He talked about what he learned playing football but how he knew he needed a second career - "you should always have options" he told the graduates. At the end of his speech, he quoted what John Wooden had written on Sciarra's copy of the Pyramid of Success - "Best wishes always in all ways" and finished with "Go Bruins."
Needless to say, Aikman was mobbed with requests for pictures with his fellow graduates and received a loud cheer when his name was read while receiving his diploma.
"I'm glad I came back and went through the ceremony," he said afterwards. "I had some reservations because I didn't really know any of the other students, but I had a great time and it brought back a lot of great memories of my time here. UCLA is a great place and I'm glad to be a part of it."