Rajeev Ram was presented with his Bachelor of General Studies degree with a concentration in humanities and social sciences at Indiana University East on Saturday, December 15.
Ram is the first ATP player to receive his degree from IU East. He was also the first ATP player to enroll at IU East under the educational agreement, providing several options for players to complete their degree online. The ATP is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour.
Ram is from Carmel, Indiana. He graduated from Carmel High School before he went on to play tennis at the University of Illinois for one semester in 2003. In 2004, he started playing tennis professionally.
“A college degree has always been a goal of mine. Even when I decided to leave college early to start playing on tour, I knew it was always something I wanted to come back and finish,” Ram said. “I decided to pursue my degree because I know my athletic career is not going to last forever. This degree will just help me open doors so I have more options in my future.”
Executive Vice Chancellor Michelle Malott said it was an honor to present the degree to Ram.
“I am very happy for Rajeev and I’m very pleased that he chose to attend IU East,” Malott said. “The decision for professional tennis players to enroll in our online programs is is a testament to how our faculty and staff serve students. It further demonstrates how we’ve become a campus of choice and we are honored to host Rajeev and help him celebrate this achievement.”
ATP Chief Player Officer Ross Hutchins said, “To achieve this whilst competing week in and out at the highest levels of the sport is a fantastic accomplishment, and we at ATP commend him. As our first successful graduate since the partnership between ATP and Indiana University East began, we are very proud Rajeev has led the way and look forward to more player members to follow suit. Well done, Rajeev!”
Molly Vanderpool, executive director of Student Recruitment and Transitions, said this degree presentation was special because Ram is a fellow Hoosier and the first from the ATP to receive his degree from IU East.
“We are so excited about our first graduate through the ATP and IU East partnership, especially since Rajeev is a native of the state of Indiana,” Vanderpool said. “Rajeev and our ATP players are dedicated students who work hard while continuing to play professionally.”
Ram enrolled at IU East in fall 2015.
“I have to give a lot of credit to my advisor, Cherie Dolehanty. She did a great job of understanding my busy schedule,” Ram said. “She worked with me to create a program that would be most efficient as well as revolve around my area of interest,” Ram said.
Dolehanty is now the director of University College. She worked with Ram when he first enrolled at IU East.
“Rajeev is one of those students that you look forward to talking to each semester. From the beginning, he demonstrated a strong work ethic, positivity and resiliency. It’s been a pleasure to serve as his academic advisor and I’m so happy to see that he’s reached his goal,” Dolehanty said.
The agreement between IU East and the ATP is similar to IU East and Women’s Tennis Benefits Association agreement. IU East and the Women’s Tennis Benefits Association have an agreement that establishes IU East as the primary provider for baccalaureate online degree completion programs for WTA players. The agreement provides the opportunity for players to professionally train and play tennis while completing their bachelor’s degree online. IU East alumnae include Venus Williams, Alla Kudryavtseva, Irina Falconi, and Katalin Marosi.
“I just think the partnership between Indiana University East and the ATP is great,” Ram said. “It allows players to pursue other interest while still competing in professional tennis and I think it can be hugely beneficial.”
Greg Braxton-Brown, professor of management and dean of Southeast Indiana Programs for IU East, taught Ram through online courses.
“Nothing is better as a faculty member than working with global citizens who do not take their positions for granted and seek knowledge to correspond with their unique access. Rajeev exemplifies this skill,” Braxton-Brown said.
Ram played in the 2016 summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro with fellow Red Wolf, Venus Williams, in mixed doubles. It was his first Olympics. Ram and Williams received a silver medal. Also in 2016, Ram played in the final round of the US Open with doubles partner Coco Vandeweghe.
Currently, Ram is ranked 21st in doubles. Since enrolling at IU East in fall 2015, Ram has won nine of his 17 career ATP Tour doubles titles, including ATP Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Paris. He is respected among ATP players. He serves as a member of the ATP Player Council.
This year, Ram received the 2018 Indiana Pathfinder Award from the Indiana Sports Corp, celebrating local individuals who show a passion for and a dedication to improving the lives of youth throughout the state and nationally. The award recognized Ram for his work and impact with youth across Indianapolis through his foundation, EntouRaj for Kids.
The foundation promotes the development of young tennis players by funding high school teams and high-performance individual grants, as well as programs that teach young players what it takes to have a winning attitude in tennis and in life. Additionally, the mission of EntouRaj for Kids is to keep professional tennis alive in Indiana and help make it accessible to families.
About the ATP
The ATP is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 63 tournaments in 30 countries, the ATP Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2019 ATP Tour will battle for prestigious titles and ATP Rankings points at ATP Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events). At the end of the season only the world’s top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams will qualify to compete for the last title of the season at the Nitto ATP Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2019 ATP Tour No. 1. For more information, please visit ATPWorldTour.com.
About IU East and IU East Online Programs
Indiana University East has an enrollment of over 3,700 students. IU East is both a traditional campus that excels in innovative learning options and a virtual campus with select online degree completion programs. The university’s customized bachelor’s and master’s programs – a portfolio of over 60 degree program options – anticipate the growing needs of citizens in the region, state and nation.
IU East’s online degree programs offer the high quality of an Indiana University degree to students throughout Indiana, nationally and internationally. IU East offers 14 options for students to complete their bachelor’s degree online in English with an emphasis in Technical and Professional Writing, Mathematics, Natural Science and Mathematics with a Mathematics Concentration, Communication Studies, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Political Science, Psychology, General Studies, and an RN to BSN Mobility Option. IU East also offers a Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies, a Graduate Certificate in Mathematics, and a Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Education. More information available online at iue.edu/online.