May 13, 2016
BATON ROUGE – On the eve of spring commencement, 59 LSU student-athletes were honored and celebrated for their academic accomplishment with “The Tribute”, a ceremony where each graduate was presented with a special LSU stole to commemorate the occasion.
Thursday night’s event, which took place at the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes, was the first time LSU student-athletes were recognized in a special ceremony dedicated strictly to those graduates who competed in athletics at LSU.
“This is what it’s all about,” LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said. “We want to win games and matches, but at the end of the day, it’s all about graduation and preparation for the rest of your life. I’m so proud of these student-athletes for graduating and moving on and being ready to be productive members of society.”
The student-athlete graduates will wear their special LSU stole, which is white and includes the words “Student-Athlete” along with the Tiger head logo, during their commencement ceremony today.
“It’s great to be able to have an event like this to celebrate what these student-athletes have accomplished during their collegiate career,” Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes Kenneth Miles said. “It takes tremendous dedication and sacrifice to be successful in competition and in the classroom. This event recognizes how unique these graduates are.”
Of the 59 student-athlete graduates this spring, 11 are members of the swimming and diving team, while 10 football players graduated, including starting kicker for the 2016 team in Trent Domingue.
Women’s swimmer Caley Oquist, a graduate in sports administration, was chosen to speak to the group of graduates and others in attendance on Thursday night.
“Everybody here has done amazing things on and off the field,” Oquist said. “It was a complete honor to be able to address this group. This is an incredible university especially from an athletic standpoint. To be able to graduate in four years at a university like this, it’s an unbelievable feeling.”
LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux, who recently guided the Tigers to a national runner-up finish, was glad to see this event come to fruition.
“This has been a culmination of a lot of people for a lot of years wanting to do something special, and they just made it happen,” Breaux said. “It’s great for the student-athletes to be able to wear a sash that separates them and makes them feel special because a lot of these kids have worked very, very hard.
“To participate at the highest level of Division I athletics is truly an accomplishment, and I think these kids will graduate with a little bit more pride than they would have otherwise.”
LSU spring commencement takes place throughout the day Friday on campus.