Touchdown Maker, Opportunity Creator

Latavius Murray


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The MBA program helped my overall knowledge on how I approach any business opportunities.

Latavius Murray ’20 MBA knows what it takes to make dreams come true. Through hard work and determination, he has journeyed from the high school football fields of Central New York to a stellar career as an NFL running back. “I understand that every successful moment I’ve had in football has been a dream come true, and I’ve been able to keep a humble mentality about it,” says Murray, who will play this season for the Buffalo Bills. 


Along the way, the former NFL Pro Bowler—who has rushed for more than 6200 yards and scored 55 total touchdowns through ten seasons with five teams—has dedicated himself to giving back to communities and sharpening his business acumen. With a focus on entrepreneurship, he earned an MBA degree through the Whitman School of Management’s online program. “When I think about having a chance to be successful, you need an opportunity,” he says. “That’s what it’s about—providing opportunities or opening up the minds of the youth or lending a hand in the community when you can. The more you do that, the more it lifts people up, the more it inspires and motivates them.” 


Now, Murray is working to turn another long-held dream into reality. He’s pursuing plans in his hometown of Nedrow, New York—where he was a star athlete at Onondaga Central High School—to build the Jon Diaz Community Center, a gathering place for local kids that will feature classrooms, a computer lab, game room and gym. “I’ve always dreamed about having a community center and always thought this should happen,” he says. “I never thought I’d be the one to make it happen.”  


The center is also Murray’s way to create a living legacy in honor of his longtime childhood friend Jonathan Diaz, who died tragically in 2016. “His name will be remembered,” says Murray, who hopes to break ground on the center in 2023. “The center’s going to impact people in a positive way, and I think he would definitely be proud. This is a huge, huge way to do it, so that gives me a lot of peace—and a lot of motivation to make it happen because I know it’s something he would want to do.”   


In pursuing his vision for the center—including navigating through the approval process with various government entities—Murray has drawn on his MBA experience. He cites the program for improving his knowledge of business-related matters, saying it helped him learn how to ask the right questions, weigh opportunities and make informed decisions. “I’m still learning as I go through this process, which is really cool,” he says. “The MBA program helped my overall knowledge on how I approach any business opportunities.”  


Murray’s sense of motivation and community run deep—and using his personal success to create opportunities for others seems to reflect his thought about suiting up in the NFL. “I’ll give them all I got,” he says. 

—Jay Cox 

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