In 2015, Jerome Bettis proudly delivered his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech. Nearly a decade later, Bettis delivered another speech while celebrating another milestone. 

In May 2022, Bettis spoke at his graduation ceremony after earning his business degree from Notre Dame, fulfilling a promise he made to his parents roughly 30 years earlier after he left school early to declare for the NFL Draft

Bettis, who initially left Notre Dame after his junior season, returned to campus three decades later to finish up his remaining coursework. Fittingly, Bettis called his mother to celebrate the accomplishment upon leaving the classroom for the final time.

Bettis dedicated the moment to his mother, his wife and their two children, and his father, who passed away shortly after Bettis and the Steelers won the Super Bowl in January 2006. 

"Me getting a degree is not just for me," Bettis told NFL Films, who documented his journey. "It was for my entire family." 

This wasn't Bettis' first time back on campus as a student upon leaving South Bend to turn pro. 

During the 1996 offseason, Bettis returned to campus to earn some credits toward his degree. Bettis' NFL career was at a crossroads; he was coming off his worst season as a professional and wasn't sure what the future held for him with the Rams, who underwent a coaching change after his second season. 

It was during that time at Notre Dame when then-Irish coach Lou Holtz inspired Bettis to rediscover the joy of the game that helped make him the 1993 NFL Rookie of the Year. Holtz also placed a call to Bill Cowher about the Steelers possibly acquiring Bettis via a trade. 

Cowher and the Steelers ultimately did trade for Bettis, who carved out a Hall of Fame career in Pittsburgh while also helping the Steelers add to their collection of Vince Lombardi Trophies.