Earvin “Magic” Johnson is best known as an NBA legend, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and becoming a two-time Hall of Famer during his career. Now, Johnson stands out as a businessman and philanthropist – not to mention an idol and inspiration for Americans across the nation and individuals around the globe.
West Coast University is proud to announce that Magic Johnson will be delivering the commencement keynote address at the 2020 Virtual Commencement ceremony taking place on September 25. His drive to create not just a celebrated basketball legacy, but a powerful business empire as well, is a testament to a strong work ethic that can help empower our WCU graduates to strive to reach their full potential.
Magic Johnson hails from a humble background and began playing basketball early in his life. He earned the nickname “Magic” at the start of his career when sportswriter Jack Stabley watched the young high school player score 36 points, 16 rebounds and 16 assists as a sophomore. Johnson has consistently stood out as one of the best basketball players of our time. He was inducted into the hall of fame twice, first for his individual career and again eight years later as a member of the Dream Team.
However, Johnson’s accomplishments extend far beyond basketball courts. His ventures as both a businessman and philanthropist have kept at-need communities front of mind. Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE) provides high-quality products and services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities through strategic alliances, investments, consulting and endorsements. As an entrepreneur, Johnson is hailed as the most powerful African-American businessman in the world.
In November 1991, Johnson announced that he had HIV. The Magic Johnson Foundation, established earlier that year, has grown be recognized for its efforts in HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. The foundation operates five clinics that offer care for patients regardless of their ability to pay and has so far tested more than 40,000 individuals, as well as led awareness and prevention campaigns.
The Magic Johnson Foundation also runs The Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships for college students from underserved communities, and Community Empowerment Centers that provide urban communities education and empowerment through the innovative use of technology. Over the last 20 years, the Magic Johnson Foundation has become one of the most recognizable philanthropic organizations around the world.
At WCU’s 2020 Virtual Commencement event, graduates, family members and faculty will get to hear from Magic Johnson himself about the drive and entrepreneurial spirit that has made him who he is today.