There were some very familiar names called out today, including two-time Southern Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Year Shanara Hollinquest. She earned her degree in Psychology and was one of four past SoCon Players of the Year/Champions who walked across the stage this afternoon.
All totaled, 11 of the 24 student-athletes who graduated today earned All-Southern Conference honors at some point in their careers. This group represents 14 Southern Conference Championships over the last four years at UTC.
Lara Newberry, the 2008 National Libero of the Year, earned her degree in Sociology. Jonathan Hodge, a two-time SoCon Men's Golfer of the Year, finished his degree in Health and Human Performance. Michael Danehy, the 2009 SoCon 800M winner at both the indoor and outdoor championships, completed his degree in Accounting.
An All-SoCon performer in Cross Country and Track & Field, Danehy was not only a highly acclaimed athlete, but also was among the highest honored students at today's commencement. He was elected to the Alpha Society and was one of 10 UTC students who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Hollinquest was joined by teammate and fellow All-SoCon performer Jenaya Wade-Fray, as well as two-year letter-winner Megan Rollins. Wade-Fray also completed her degree in Psychology while Rollins graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice.
Seven members of the football program finished their undergraduate careers today, led by 2009 All-SoCon performers Blue Cooper and Joseph Thornton. Cooper, who just recently signed a free-agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, earned a degree in Health and Human Performance. Thornton wrapped up his Criminal Justice degree. They were followed by teammates Bryce Garcia (Psychology), Jare Gault (Business Administration: General Management) and Tony Swafford (Business Administration: Marketing). These five were all major contributors to the Mocs' magical 6-5 campaign last season, one of the biggest turnarounds in school history.
Past members of the football program who graduated today included Antonio Miller (Human Services Management) and Ed Sawyer (Criminal Justice).
Hodge was joined by three other members of the men's golf program, including All-SoCon performer Ben Rickett. Rickett earned a degree in Psychology while J.T. Clendenin (Sociology) and Trip Harris (Business Administration: General Management) also graduated today.
Former All-SoCon men's tennis player Peter Sauska earned a Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing. Lara Nethery gave the Lady Mocs volleyball squad two graduates, finishing her Biology degree this semester.
Danehy was joined by four other members of the Track & Field and Cross Country programs. Emily Stuart (Education) and Shelley Taylor (Human Ecology) both earned Cum Laude honors. Kevin Huwe (Mechanical Engineering) and Blake Ketron (Criminal Justice) also graduated today. Taylor and Ketron were All-SoCon performers during their careers with the Mocs.
Bond Davis and Josh Statum represented the wrestling program. Davis actually earned three diplomas at Commencement, including Business Administration degrees in Entrepreneurship, Marketing and General Management. Statum, a 2010 All-SoCon wrestler, was the sole UTC student to receive an Economics degree this afternoon.
Prior to the Commencement, the Mocs' Student-Athlete Support Services staff held a reception in the Hall of Fame Room at the McKenzie Arena. Director of Athletics Rick Hart and UTC Provost Dr. Phil Oldham spoke to the group with wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger giving the featured message. A majority of the Mocs graduates were there with their families and enjoyed lunch with a number of UTC coaches and support staff. Be sure to check the photo album at the top of the page for some shots from today's festivities.
Shanara Hollinquest - Psychology
Megan Rollins - Criminal Justice
Jenaya Wade-Fray - Psychology
Blue Cooper - Health and Human Performance
Bryce Garcia - Psychology
Jare Gault - Business Administration: General Management
Antonio Miller - Human Services Management
Ed Sawyer - Criminal Justice
Tony Swafford - Business Administration: Marketing
Joseph Thornton - Criminal Justice
J.T. Clendenin - Sociology
Trip Harris - Business Administration: General Management
Jonathan Hodge - Health and Human Performance
Ben Rickett - Psychology
Peter Sauska - Business Administration: Marketing
Track & Field/Cross Country
Michael Danehy - Business Administration: Accounting
Kevin Huwe - Mechanical Engineering
Blake Ketron - Criminal Justice
Emily Stuart - Education
Shelly Taylor - Human Ecology
Laura Nethery - Biology
Lara Newberry - Sociology
Bond Davis - Business Administration: Entrepreneurship, Marketing and General Management
Josh Statum - Economics