University of Phoenix: Still I Rise – Gail Marquis

The university of Phoenix unveiled “Still I Rise – Gail Marquis” commercial. The speech is the “Still I Rise” poem by Maya Angelou. The voice over is Maya Angelou. The cast is Chiene Joy Jones (plays Gail Marquis) Gail Marquis, and Dajahnae Saddler. The ad honors Gail Marquis, a World Champion basketball player. The university of Phoenix The University’s campaign serves to feature and acknowledges Marquis as a World Champion athlete, recognizing her lifelong accomplishments—on and off the court.

The background music of University of Phoenix commercial is well chosen and it fit very well with the message.

As a World Champion, prominent Wall Street executive, MBA graduate and dedicated mentor, Marquis is a true inspiration to the University of Phoenix community. Her impressive career in finance followed her professional basketball career, which includes her placement in the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. Today, the new University of Phoenix brand campaign serves as an inspiring platform to showcase Marquis’ impressive academic and professional careers in addition to her sporting achievements, with the content set to Maya Angelou’s moving poem Still I Rise.

Marquis’ story serves as an inspiration. In a world that didn’t recognize women’s basketball as an entertaining and competitive sport, her efforts, and those of her teammates, ultimately changed the game forever. Marquis not only helped build her high school’s first girls’ basketball team, but she went on to gain All-American status at Queens College (NY) and play for the National Championship. She then went on to become one of the first American women to live and play basketball internationally with a French team for three years.

After receiving her World Champion title, she sought further success beyond athletics. Tackling a new challenge, Marquis thrived in another highly competitive environment: with several prominent financial firms on Wall Street, where she worked for 30 years.

“As a World Champion athlete, I know just how much hard work and dedication go into achieving your dreams—whether it be in sports, education, career or in a relationship,” said Marquis. “Like many of my fellow athletes, my dreams didn’t end with basketball. I took my determination to Wall Street, where after decades of success, I still wanted more. Accomplishing my educational goals has enabled me to teach other students what it takes to forge their own path to greatness.”

Marquis earned her Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix in 2006, after decades of success on Wall Street. Marquis earned her MBA to fulfill one more dream of hers: advanced higher education. Today, she uses that degree as Director of Community Outreach for the School of Business and the Business Development Incubator at New Jersey City University (NJ), where she acts as a liaison between the businesses and corporations and the students, empowering those coming from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds that: No matter who you are, you belong. She challenges students to step out of their comfort zone to meet those challenges.

From basketball to business, to education, Marquis has changed the game in more ways than one. Today, she is a leader in business and the community. She and her wife, Audrey Smaltz, former Ebony Fashion Fair Commentator and CEO and Founder of The Ground Crew, continue to fight for the cause of human rights equality after winning their own marriage battle after twelve years. Breaking records and breaking barriers, Marquis embodies the gold standard that the University of Phoenix is proud to graduate.

“Gail Marquis shares the same traits found in so many University of Phoenix students—grit and determination. They are driven to overcome obstacles and willing to put in the hard work required to get a higher education, often while raising a family or working a full-time job,” said Timothy P. Slottow, president of the University of Phoenix. “University of Phoenix believes in the power of a college degree to change the lives of students, their families, and future generations. That is why we work tirelessly to support working adults and diverse students as they pursue a career-relevant higher education.”

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou, 1928 – 2014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still, I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak, that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.[3] Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.



A powerful commercial. Good work University of Phoenix!

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