May 18, 1998
Brian Alford has certainly come full circle. Purdue's All-America football wide receiver and Big Ten track sprint champion spoke to his graduating class May 17, just a year after successfully regaining his academic eligibility.
Alford, who was recently chosen in the third round of the NFL Draft by the New York Giants, earned his diploma as a supervision major in the School of Technology. He addressed his fellow graduates as a "student responder" at one of Purdue's four commencement ceremonies.
"I think it's a tremendous gesture on the President's (Dr. Steven Beering) part to make that offer to Brian," Boilermaker football coach Joe Tiller told Gold & Black Illustrated. "It's quite amazing when you think about where we were 12 months ago at this time. Now, we're talking about commencement and addressing the graduates. Twelve months ago who would've ever thunk it. It's nothing short of amazing. To his credit, he pulled himself up by the bootstraps, dug his way out and did an admirable job."
Way to go, Brian, and good luck in the future. You're a positive role model for everyone.