Charles Mann's Path to Graduation

Graduation is a mark of success for every Strayer student. It’s the moment when all your grit and determination pays off.

Meet one of our most recent MBA graduates, Charles Mann, three-time Super Bowl champion and Strayer 2015 BBA graduate.

At our 125th Annual Commencement Ceremony in Washington, D.C., Charles walked across the stage to receive his diploma. He also addressed his classmates on commencement and success as the keynote speaker.

Charles Had Unfinished Business

Charles recognized he had unfinished business he needed to attend to, which he was a glaring spot for years.

“You look back on your life and you start assessing: Were you successful?”

With a 12-year professional football career, a 32-year marriage, and three beautiful children, Charles certainly was successful.

One thing was missing, though: A college degree.

A Daughter’s Graduation

Charles was inspired to go back to school when he attended his daughter’s graduation ceremony.

“She graduated in three and a half years,” he recalls. “And here I am in the audience applauding her, realizing I never graduated. I have unfinished business.”

At 50 years of age, Charles was going to get his degree.

“I tell my kids this a lot: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Charles says. “So I’m all about the finish.”

One Step at a Time

It took Charles three years to earn his bachelor’s in business management. Persistence was a key factor in his success.

“I just took it one step at a time,” he says. “I took two classes every quarter, one class online and one class on campus. I never took a quarter off and just stayed at it. I was attentive, I asked questions in every class. Then I looked up, and I was at the end.”

In 2014, Charles graduated magna cum laude with a 3.78 GPA.

To celebrate, he took six months off. Then it was time to keep going.

Next stop: An MBA degree.

An About-Face in Life

As Charles prepares to walk across the stage this summer to receive his MBA, he credits Strayer’s professors for getting him there.

“I’m extremely grateful to them,” he says. “For their extra help, and for their openness to answer questions and help the students get it. And I really got it – in every one of my classes.”

He adds: “I really feel like I’ve made an about-face in my life. With the knowledge I have now, it’s made a difference.”

Congratulations, Charles!

And congratulations to all the other Strayer graduates out there!


Learn more about Strayer University and how you can achieve your educational goals.