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Using Muhammad Ali’s Legacy as a Pathfinder

By: Tabatha McNulty

Sure, growing up I was familiar with the name Muhammad Ali, and knew he was labeled as “The Greatest”, but I was wrong in thinking he held that prestigious title only because he was an incredible athlete.

It wasn’t until I moved to Louisville for college that I learned who he actually was. My first taste of Louisville and the passion for its people was at the Muhammad Ali Center. As an almost freshman living independently for the very first time, I couldn’t understand why my university was having us load up buses and head downtown.

Throughout my evening of exploring the Center and Ali’s history, it became clear as to why we were taken there. The message being conveyed was to create your own path, find what you are passionate about, and be “The Greatest” at whatever you set your mind and heart to. Just like Muhammad Ali did.

It was an important message for me, as I was about to embark on this journey of finding out what I wanted to do with my future, and who I really wanted to be without any influence from childhood friends or family.

Jump ahead three years, and I’m interning at the Muhammad Ali Center. Funny how things come full circle. My path was, well, non-existent three years ago. Now, I feel like I have a clear one, and that has only been strengthened throughout my time interning at the Center. It has been a great reminder of where my journey began, and where I want it to continue down the road.

Over time, I’ve learned that Ali’s legacy wasn’t just his boxing career, though that was pretty great. His legacy stems from the time he dedicated to his philanthropic and humanitarian work within his local community and those around the world. He dedicated so much of himself to enriching the lives of others, and helped to open up the doors for future generations to do the same.

Muhammad Ali is an important reminder that we choose our own path, our own legacy. So, what will your legacy be?

Tabatha just finished her sophomore year at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, majoring in Communications.