University of Phoenix Celebrates Alumna and World Champion Gail Marquis

New Brand Campaign Recognizes Athlete, Businesswoman and Mentor

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the world comes together this summer to watch sports history be made,
University of Phoenix honors Gail Marquis, a World Champion basketball
player. The University’s campaign serves to feature and acknowledge
Marquis as a World Champion athlete, recognizing her lifelong
accomplishments – on and off the court.

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 content set to Maya Angelou’s moving poem Still I

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
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 12 years. Breaking records and breaking barriers, Marquis
embodies the gold standard that University of Phoenix is proud to

“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 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.”

More about Marquis’ story can be seen here.

For more information about each of these programs, including on-time
completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the
program and other important information, please visit:

About the University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults
move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world.
Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive
learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal
aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo
Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:
), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population,
offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs
from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online
throughout the world. For more information, visit


University of Phoenix
Heather McLaughlin, 714-338-6429