Total of 45 Student-Athletes Graduating This Weekend

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Dec. 15, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.;– Forty-five Penn State student-athletes are scheduled to graduate during Commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 16 on the University Park campus.

Student-athletes representing 12 Penn State squads are on the approved to graduate list. The football team has 17 student-athletes on the approved to graduate list to lead the Penn State programs. Baseball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s fencing, football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming and diving, men’s track and field, women’s track and field and women’s volleyball all have student-athletes who are earning their degrees this weekend.

Among the Nittany Lion students approved to graduate Saturday is women’s volleyball AVCA All-American Haleigh Washington. She was selected a CoSIDA second-team Academic All-American, becoming the first NIttany Lion women’s volleyball student-athlete to earn the honor three times. Washington also was selected the recipient of the Senior CLASS Award for women’s volleyball, presented to the sport’s most outstanding senior student-athlete.

With the 15 new graduates this weekend from the football team (17 total graduates), 23 Penn State football student-athletes will have earned a total of 26 degrees prior to the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl vs. Washington on December 30 in Glendale, Arizona. Mark Allen, Curtis Cothran, Parker Cothren, DaeSean Hamilton, Cody Hodgens, Andrew Nelson, Daniel Pasquariello and Brandon Smith had earned their degrees prior to the start of the season.

Hamilton and Hodgens are earning second degrees this weekend and Koa Farmer is earning two degrees this weekend.

Also among the graduates is Casimir Loxsom, a former Nittany Lion men’s track and field All-American. Loxsom ran the world’s fastest indoor 600 meters ever earlier this year.

A total of 159 Nittany Lion students graduated during the 2016-17 academic year. Having boasted a school record 114 spring graduates, the 159 Nittany Lions earning their degrees was the most since Penn State began offering 31 programs in 2012-13, with the addition of men’s and women’s hockey.

Penn State student-athletes, who have captured 33 Big Ten Championships and conference-best eight NCAA titles since September 2012, consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees.

The Nittany Lions have started the 2017-18 academic year in strong fashion, with two Big Ten Championships and five teams that have been ranked in the Top 10. The No. 1 ranked women’s volleyball team and the women’s soccer squad won conference titles and were joined by the field hockey team in advancing to at least their respective NCAA Championship quarterfinals.

Penn State and Stanford are the only schools to have three teams advance to the NCAA quarterfinals among this fall’s five team bracketed national championships.

Record-tying 90 Percent NCAA Graduation Rate for Nittany Lion Student-Athletes
Earlier this fall, the NCAA released its annual national graduation rates study, which revealed that Penn State student-athletes tied the school record by posting a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent compared to the 86 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2007-08 through the 2010-11 academic year. The Nittany Lions’ graduation figure has grown by one point each of the past two years to the record-tying 90 percent figure.

Two Penn State student-athletes earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors this fall, Washington and women’s soccer’s Emily Ogle. Earlier this week, Washington became Penn State’s 200 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, a total that ranks fourth among all NCAA Division I schools.