The Greatest Steps Into NYIT's Ring

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The Greatest Steps Into NYIT's Ring

September 1, 2015

Not everyone gets to photograph a living legend, but that’s what Campus Slate photographer Paul Moeller (B.S. ’71) did on April 20, 1971. On that Tuesday, NYIT students gathered outside the Old Westbury campus Student Activities Center (known then as the "Dairy Barn") to meet one of the greatest sports celebrities of all time: former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Instead of lecturing students on current issues, the sports legend asked students what they wanted him to discuss. Topics ranged from Howard Cosell to Ali’s retirement to a rematch with Joe Frazier.

In NYIT Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2007 fall issue, Moeller recalled that almost the entire campus population turned out to hear Ali speak for 90 minutes. The cost of his appearance: $1,500.

"He was energetic, exciting, and very animated, as only Muhammad Ali could be," Moeller said in the magazine. "I found him to be very enjoyable. He was the consummate showman."

This content was excerpted and adapted from a past issue of NYIT Magazine published in fall 2007. It is part of The Box's "60 Years in 60 Days" series in celebration of NYIT's 60th anniversary in 2015.