Ali Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm.

Muhammad Ali’s Impact on Me

By Patrick McDowell
Communications Intern, Muhammad Ali Center

This year I was lucky enough to be hired on as a communications Intern at the Muhammad Ali Center. This was my first glimpse into what it looks like to be in an office environment in a real world workplace. It is not often that I have the time to be able to contribute to causes or organizations bigger than myself, but I am more than happy to say I have tried my best to leave an impact on the center and that the center has definitely left an impact on me.

During my time at the center, Muhammad Ali’s legacy has definitely resounded with me. One of the biggest things that have stood out to me is Muhammad’s six core principles. I believe that the ones that have stuck with me the most are Confidence, Dedication, Giving and Respect.

When I think of the confidence that Muhammad Ali embodied I get jealous. To be so self-validated is a goal that I have been seeking for so long. Ali was the best and he knew it. In a world where it is really hard to set yourself apart, I think that your attitude can speak volumes. Ali was the kind of man that not only lit up a room when he entered it, but he commanded it. I strive to have this type of belief in myself every day and I think that this is a truly inspiring part of Ali’s legacy.

When I think of the dedication that it took for Ali to win the Olympic gold medal in 1960, it definitely helps me get up out of bed for my in-home Quarantine workouts. When I think of the struggles that Ali had to go through and the mental fortitude that he possessed it certainly helps me get an extra half-mile on my daily runs to get out of the house. He lived, breathed and ate boxing. This is the type of commitment that I hope to embody for something one day, as well.

Though Ali knew he was the best, it was his respect for his fellow man that really made him the greatest. I think that the best thing that we can learn from Ali is that he greeted people with a firm handshake and a smile from cheek to cheek. From what I have learned from my time at the center, when Ali talked to you, you had his undivided attention. Ali literally started from the bottom and made something of himself that was outstanding, never acting like he was better than anyone.

The last thing that has made an impression on me is the giving spirt that Ali had. When I see the contributions that not only Muhammad but the Ali family have made I think it’s quite inspiring. I think that the legacy that the Ali family has maintained with their contributions to the community and the world around them is something that we should all strive to do.

While my time at the center is coming to a close, the impact that Muhammad Ali has made on me is one that will last a lifetime.


Patrick is a Senior at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, majoring in Communications