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Scholar-athlete graduates from ASU with bachelor's degree in 3 years


Scholar-athlete Flynn Murphy, who played goalie on the ASU women's lacrosse team and was a student in Barrett, The Honors College, graduated in three years with a bachelor's degree in sports business.

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May 11, 2021

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2023 graduates.

Flynn Murphy accomplished a lot academically and athletically as an undergraduate at Arizona State University.

She completed coursework for a bachelor’s degree in sports business in three years at the W. P. Carey School of Business and was a student in Barrett, The Honors College. She was named W. P. Carey School's Most Outstanding Graduate in Sports Business and received her degree with honors on May 8.

Throughout her undergraduate years, she competed as the goalkeeper on the Sun Devil Women’s Lacrosse team and was named to the Pac-12 Conference Spring 2022 Academic Honors Roll. She made the W. P. Carey School Dean’s List for five semesters.

She was an ESPN Fiesta Bowl production intern in December 2022 and an events intern with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee in summer 2022 and spring 2023. She participated in ASU's Tip of the Fork program, which gives student-athletes leadership and community service opportunities, and was a leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

In April, she was given the Danny Zollars Most Outstanding Graduating Senior Award in recognition of her work in the community and the classroom.

Murphy, who is from Weddington, North Carolina, said she chose ASU “because it was the complete package.”

“Committing to college across the country as a 16-year-old, I was convinced that it had all I was looking for and have only been proven right since then,” she said.

“I have been held to high academic standards from Barrett and W. P. Carey, had incredible internship opportunities through access to the Phoenix market, competed at a high level in the Pac-12 while our team soared to new heights, completed my undergraduate degree in three years and am now prepared for my master’s next year. Beyond my education and athletic experiences, I was able to embrace the outdoors and take advantage of all that Arizona has to offer.”

She will stay on at ASU to earn her Master of Sports Law and Business through the Srandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

“I am super excited to continue my education as a Sun Devil and take a deeper dive into sports from the law perspective,” she said.

As Murphy wrapped up her undergraduate, career she offered these reflections about her experience.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I was fortunate enough to grow up in a sports home, so it never even crossed my mind to do something unrelated to sports. I grew up heavily involved in athletics as I competed in a variety of sports, my dad was a coach, and my brother is also a college lacrosse athlete. I knew I always had a place in sports, and it has been an exciting journey finding where my passions in sports are beyond playing.

Q: What event helped to shape your ASU experience?

A: There were so many events that contributed to my incredible experience at ASU and without each of them it wouldn’t have been the same three years. I thoroughly enjoyed the meetings and events with Tip of the Fork, which allowed me to grow as a leader and serve my community. I also enjoyed all the events that I was able to attend for Barrett that allowed me to have better relationships with my classmates and explore my interests. This help me cultivate a community where I was able to live and learn with like-minded individuals.

Q: You are a scholar and an athlete. How did you balance these two priorities?

A: I balanced these two priorities by managing my time to the best of my ability and taking it one day at a time. I have big dreams, but those big dreams cannot be accomplished unless I focus on the current tasks at hand. My teammates would be disappointed if I didn’t also give a shoutout to my color-coordinated calendar where I plan out my days, weeks and months. The balance is much easier when there are people around you who are juggling the same priorities.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: Throughout my time at ASU, the biggest perspective change that I experienced was a newfound appreciation for the opportunity to earn such an incredible education. I saw all that was available to students here and the inclusivity that occurred on campus. Having classmates from around the world with different experiences was very beneficial to my personal growth. Everyone coming together to learn at ASU is a special experience and changed my perspective on higher education that embraces inclusivity.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Professor Daniel McIntosh taught me the importance of extending myself to my classmates. In his class we were heavily engaged in conversations about in-class material and current events happening in the sports landscape. It allowed me to better understand my classmates’ perspectives, while simultaneously gaining knowledge relevant to my interests. This enhanced my critical thinking skills and introduced new topics that I was unfamiliar with.

Q: What is the focus of your honors thesis?

A: My honors thesis is focused on how to maximize the potential of athletes as they transition from amateur to professional sport. We are examining how players can better be prepared financially, mentally, socially and physically for their next step. We also look forward to how players can best transition out of sport by taking certain steps while their playing career extends.

Q: What benefits did you derive from completing a thesis?

A: My thesis has been beneficial not only through the knowledge that I have gained but it has also provided me with incredible networking opportunities. Through informational interviews I have been able to further my career interests and determine what I am looking for after I complete my master’s program.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you would give to students?

A: Soak it all in. There are so many incredible opportunities. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and embrace new things that come your way. Go to the study groups for your classes, go to the games with your friends, talk to your classmates and don’t be shy to reach for help when you need it.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: My favorite area on campus is Palm Walk. I love to walk and be outside to clear my mind, so I have found myself strolling up and down Palm Walk a lot throughout the past three years. I am thankful to go to school on such a beautiful campus with great weather, which promotes outdoor outlets from the busy day to day.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: If I had $40 million to solve a problem on our planet, I would choose to target these funds towards the Boys and Girls Clubs across America. I am fortunate enough to have spent time giving back through spending time at the Boys and Girls Club in Tempe. I can’t help but think of the opportunities and resources that would be provided to these students if there was more funding. The smiles and joy that comes from each interaction there creates a deep sense of appreciation that I am at a point in my life where I have the time to serve my community and pour into the next generation of go-getters.

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