Diplomas Delivered: Special Ceremony Held For Graduates At Bowl Game

They had planned to wear caps and gowns with their peers and to hear their names called during commencement at the MAC Center.  However, the Kent State Golden Flashes' acceptance of a bowl bid out of state quickly derailed that plan.

While they couldn't be in two places at once, especially considering Boise, Idaho, is more than 2,000 miles from Kent, these graduates still got their moment to shine.

Celebrating in Boise
In all, 11 students -- six football players and five student workers -- were honored with a special ceremony Dec. 19 to receive their diplomas from Provost Melody Tankersley prior to the football team's scheduled departure for practice.

"They've earned this," Tankersley said. "These students have earned all the pomp and circumstance that goes with reaching the end of their journey to a degree."

Lamar Hylton, Kent State's senior vice president for student affairs, provided opening and closing remarks to the unique event.

Football Student-Athletes earning diplomas:

  1. Keshunn Abram, B.B.A, Accounting
  2. Spencer Berthold, B.S. Educational Studies
  3. Keenan Orr, B.S. Biochemistry/Pre-Med
  4. Antwaine (Weezy) Richardson, B.A. Sociology
  5. Juan Wallace, B.A. Sociology
  6. Zayin West, B.S. Sport Administration

Student Workers earning diplomas:

  1. Leah Eberts, B.A. Visual Communication Design
  2. Anthony Fundzak, M.A. Sport Administration
  3. Robbie Matos, M.A. Sport Administration
  4. Nathaniel Morrison, M.A. Sport Administration
  5. Enzo Orlando, B.A. Communication Studies, minor in Business Management

"This means a lot," Spencer Berthold said. "Didn't think we'd be able to have a ceremony. Cool that they're able to honor us this way."

Provost Tankersley Awards Diplomas
"It's everything, especially for me and for my family," said Leah Eberts.  "It's a great way to celebrate all of the hard work I put in. Really surprised we're doing this. It's wonderful."

The graduating student-athletes boasted a combined GPA of 3.132, and five plan to return to Kent State to continue with graduate courses. Antwaine Richardson's degree in Sociology is his second baccalaureate degree.

"We talk about graduating boldly and being prepared for life after sports," said Randale Richmond, Kent State's athletic director. "This is the goal. This is what they work for, and we're very happy to do this for them."

Kent State (7-6) plays Wyoming (6-6) Dec. 21 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.


POSTED: Sunday, December 19, 2021 10:52 AM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 04:43 PM