Pittsburgh Steelers great Jerome Bettis fulfilled a longstanding promise last week.
The 50-year-old NFL Hall of Famer has officially graduated from the University of Notre Dame, nearly three decades after he left the school to play professional football.
"A promise made, a promise kept. 28 years after leaving @NotreDame, I've completed my degree from the Mendoza School of Business," he said on Twitter. "I hope my journey serves as [a] reminder that education is the true equalizer in life and it is never too late to start."
According to Sports Illustrated, Bettis left Notre Dame before completing his senior year to participate in the 1993 NFL Draft. He was eventually selected by the Rams with the 10th pick in the draft.
Bettis only needed four more courses to earn his degree, so he returned to Notre Dame last semester to finish the job.
A promise made, a promise kept. 28 years after leaving @NotreDame, I’ve completed my degree from the Mendoza School of Business. I hope my journey serves as reminder that education is the true equalizer in life and it is never too late to start. pic.twitter.com/J0Xn7Up47n
— Jerome Bettis (@JeromeBettis36) May 12, 2022
"I have been waiting 28 years to celebrate this moment," Bettis said on Instagram, alongside a picture of him in his cap and gown.
"I am so proud to be a graduate of the University of @notredame class of 2022!!" he added. "I can't thank everyone who made this dream become a reality for me."
Bettis, who joined the Steelers in 1996, told Today in January that he wanted to go back to school to fulfill a promise to his mother.
"I promised my mother that I would get my degree," he told the outlet. "In my immediate family, I'll be the first person to graduate from college. But most importantly, I have two children. For them to see dad finish a commitment that he set out some 27 years ago, for me to complete that, I think it says a lot to them."
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Bettis added that while he faced difficulties adjusting to the modern-day classroom, he was most focused during his second stint at the university thanks to not having to worry about football.
Now, along with a Super Bowl ring, Bettis has a college diploma to add to his mantle.
"This is that moment," he told Today, "where it's all coming together."