NFL star Andrew Hawkins says ‘Columbia University is extremely hard’

He still got a 4.0

NFL receiver Andrew Hawkins graduated from Columbia this week with a stunning 4.0, while juggling a career in football.

Hawkins, who has played with the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, came out of Columbia with a top grade in his Sports Management Master’s.

“Just as smart as I am quick,” he wrote on his graduation cap. “Shuttle: 4.o. GPA: 4.o.”

Speaking exclusively to The Tab, Hawkins explained how he aced his degree with a perfect score.

For the Culture. @Columbia

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How did it feel to graduate this week?

It was an incredible feeling. To be able to set out for a goal – thinking about all the hard things I had to go through and how tough it was at times, and when I didn’t think I was going to be able to see if through to fruition – to be able to stand up there and get my diploma and shake hands with the dean and proudly say I’m a graduate of Columbia was an awesome experience. It was a long time coming. But we got it done.

Columbia has a famous reputation as tough school – how hard was it working for that 4.0?

It was tough but it was a goal I set out from the beginning. With that in my mind, throughout every course, every semester, every class, I just took it a day at a time. It was extremely hard, and it came down to the wire but it worked out perfectly.

What did you enjoy about Columbia?

Columbia is a hotbed of intelligence – there’s lawyers there, there’s doctors there. Everybody is an expert in their field, the curriculum is taught by experts. Even the classmates are brilliant in their own right. Just to be able to sit there and exchange ideas and be at this center of innovation was awesome to experience. It’s a little different to what you get in football!

What was your favorite thing about Columbia?

It’s extremely diverse so you meet people from literally all over the world, every walk of life. I studied with people from London, China, Japan – every country you could imagine. These are your classmates! And it’s statistically proven the more exposed you are to diversity, the smarter you are. You get this experience from everybody and everybody has different ways of doing things, everyone’s accustomed to different things and everybody can still collectively work together. It was an awesome experience.

What have you got planned next?

We’ll see. We could go a couple different ways. I have some entrepreneurial operations I’m starting to get going and people have offered to have me come on board and work with them. I’m just going to continue to work hard.

Are you done with football or are you going to do more academics?

I’ll probably do some more academics. I don’t know whether I’ll go for a PhD or a Law degree but I’ll probably go back to school eventually. Right now I’m going to take a break.

Where are you looking for your PhD or Law degree?

I was actually looking at Tilburg in the Netherlands for a PhD. There’s a couple of Law schools here that I was eyeing up, a couple other Ivy League institutions to continue with that.

All photos credit: Andrew Hawkins

Columbia University