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USC Student Graduation: Honoring Our Departing Athletes

Athletes took center stage in the Galen Center this past week.

Ethan Miller

Working hard both in and out of the classroom, student athletes across all playing fields were honored on Thursday at the Galen Center for graduating from the University of Southern California. Among the many honored athletes, safety Josh Shaw took the podium during the ceremony to tell an inspiring story of his transformation into an accomplished college graduate.

Shaw started his college football career at University of Florida. But two years in, he got a call from home that changed everything. His grandfather had fallen seriously ill and his father, whom everyone calls “Superman”, needed surgery that would leave him with a six month recovery period.

Although it was never easy, I was able to experience so much joy within my soul. Josh Shaw Against his family’s wishes, Shaw left Gainesville, transferring to USC so he could continue his “dreams of receiving a great education and playing football” while also looking after his family.

“I didn’t mind going to class, workouts or practice and then making the hour commute from Los Angeles to Palmdale to handle my father’s landscaping business,” he told his fellow scholar-athletes at Thursday’s ceremony.

“Although it was never easy, I was able to experience so much joy within my soul, because finally I could give back to my parents who have always given me so much.” Shaw, who had 67 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and four interceptions last season, opted to skip the 2014 NFL draft.

He returns to USC next fall for his last year of NCAA eligibility. In the meantime he’s working for CBRE, a commercial real estate firm in downtown Los Angeles while strapping it up for USC's defense.

GRANDEST GRADUATION MOMENTS