August 14, 2012
Former NFL player Leonard Wheeler '89 to speak at Opening Convocation Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

Lees-McRae College will hold the Opening Convocation ceremony on Thursday, August 16 at 3:30 p.m. in the Broyhill Theatre in Hayes Auditorium. Opening Convocation is an important part of the academic tradition at Lees-McRae. Literally a 'coming together' of the College community, Opening Convocation celebrates the beginning of the academic year and welcomes new and returning students to campus. Leonard Wheeler '89, former NFL player, 2011 Lees-McRae College Athletics Hall of Fame inductee and president of Wheeler Enterprises, Inc., will present the keynote address, "Unleash Your Potential."

Former NFL player turned power player on the coaching circuit, Leonard Wheeler has been a change agent for athletes, high-power executives, and major corporations for the last 12 years. His competitive spirit, power to persuade, and infectious personality have taken him all over the world. From serving on the boards of prominent national organizations to addressing various groups in London, Barcelona, Seville and even the survivors of the Columbine tragedy, Leonard is highly sought after to speak, train, coach and lead. He also starred in the movie Radio, the TV show One Tree Hill, and has been featured on BET and the Word Network for his powerful message. Leonard truly has a gift, as he gives people hope and inspires the masses to reach their full potential in every aspect of their lives.

As the President of Wheeler Enterprises, Inc. and owner of Athletes Institute, Leonard has worked with Capital One, MIT, Vanguard, Bojangles, Ford, National Gypsum, Domtar, AAA, N Group, Carolina's Medical, Abbott Laboratories, White Knight Engineering, Habitat for Humanity, the NFLPA, and the NFL to name a few. He is a national educational speaker for the National Collegiate Scouting Association, the NFL's "Fuel Up To Play 60″, and serves on the board of directors for all former NFL players and the NFLPA Finance Committee.

Before evolving into the accomplished speaker he is today, Leonard started his college career at Lees-McRae College, graduating from the then junior college in 1989 and attended Troy University. He played eight years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, and the Carolina Panthers after being selected in the third round of the 1992 NFL Draft. He holds a degree in Business Administration and Communications and is certified by ICF (International Coaching Federation), Coachville, the Robert Hartman Institute in Axiology, which is a quantitative analysis of how people think on paper, "Who Moved My Cheese Change Essentials" and the "The Human Element."

For additional information, please contact Meghan Wright, director of communications, at (828) 898-8729 or

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