Former MLB star graduates from Penn State, fulfilling a long-kept promise

Dexter Fowler, 2016 MLB All-Star, entered professional baseball directly out of high school, but 20 years after he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies, he graduated from Penn State.
Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler (24)
Chicago Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler (24) / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The high school, especially on the baseball field, often have a difficult decision to make at just 18 years old. Do you go pro or take the college route and the safety that a college degree provides? 

Dexter Fowler faced that exact conundrum in 2004 when the Atlanta Georgia native was a 14th-round pick of the Colorado Rockies. Instead of heading to school, the son of a school teacher took his chance in minor-league baseball and it paid off. 

Fowler reached “The Show” in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies at age 22 and spent the next 14 years in the MLB. He played for the Rockies, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Angels. 2021 was his final year as a professional baseball player, and just three years later, Fowler was fulfilling a promise he made to his family all the years ago. 

“Baseball has always been just the beginning for me, and earning my degree was a promise I made to my family that I’m proud to fulfill,” Fowler said in a press release. 

On May 4, 2024, the 2016 MLB All-Star was at the Bryce Jordan Center to receive his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in organizational and professional communication. 

He began his journey to that degree while still in the big leagues, after tearing his ACL just seven games into the 2021 season, Fowler started his education at Penn State World Campus. At graduation, Fowler was nominated by one of his professors to guide fellow graduates during the ceremony as a student marshal.

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