May 6, 2014 10:00 AM

Greg Thomson

Commencement 2014

The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is familiar territory for Tulane University senior Devon Walker. During his undergraduate years, Walker spent many Saturday afternoons racing around the gridiron in the venue wearing a helmet and shoulder pads. 

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Former student-athlete Devon Walker, whose No. 18 jersey is a favorite on campus, will receive his diploma on May 17 along with his fellow classmates. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

A cervical spine fracture sustained in 2012 ended his career on the field, but last football season, he roamed the sidelines in his wheelchair at the home games to cheer on his teammates. On May 17, Walker will return to the Superdome once again to graduate with his classmates. 

After returning to campus in September, the former Tulane student-athlete has finished his undergraduate studies as a cell and molecular biology major. Walker completed the heavy course load and countless lab hours that accompany the coursework. During commencement, he will receive his Bachelor of Science degree. 

“In life, the most important thing is perseverance,” says Walker. “If there is something that you want to achieve in life no matter how big or small, never give up and work as hard as you can to be where you want to be because the hardest goals for us to achieve make for the sweetest rewards.”

Walker says that he will miss the freedom that college offers and spending time with his close friends. After graduation, he plans on dedicating ample time during the summer to continue concentrating on intense rehabilitation from his injury. Then in the fall, Walker hopes to enroll in classes once more to earn a master’s degree.

“After graduating, I will feel like I have completed one of my biggest goals and overcome one of my biggest obstacles,” he says. “With that being said, I will also look to achieve more in the future.” 

Greg Thomson is a junior at Tulane University majoring in communication.




Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000