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Student-Athletes Take Part in 2012 Commencement Exercises

Seniors from the men's and women's basketball teams pause for a photo on graduation day.

May 7, 2012

CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Photo Gallery

Western Carolina University held commencement ceremonies this past weekend for approximately 980 undergraduate students, including 41 Catamount student-athletes.

Commencement for the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Allied Professions, and Fine and Performing Arts was held at 10 a.m., followed by a 3:30 p.m. ceremony for the College of Business, College of Health and Human Sciences, and Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology.

Chancellor David O. Belcher delivered the chancellor's charge to the graduating students at all the university's ceremonies. During the Saturday morning undergraduate commencement, he told them that this is their moment to celebrate, but the moment "belongs to others as well."

"I daresay that not one graduate here today has reached this point without support in one form or another - from parents, a spouse, children, grandparents, other family members and friends. This is their moment, too," Belcher said. The same holds true for everyone on WCU's campus, from the faculty members who taught the students in the classroom to the grounds crew "who make this campus a showplace," he said.

"As you look toward your future, I charge you to hold tight to your grounding at Western Carolina University and the values for which it stands, to remain firm in your commitment to excellence and high standards, and to continue learning, whether in formal settings or on your own."

"You are a part of Western Carolina University, and Western Carolina University is a part of you," Belcher said. "Remember your grounding here in this remarkable slice of heaven we call Cullowhee."

Of the 41 student-athletes, three earned degrees with double majors. The three are tennis' Katie Barry (Mathematics, B.S. & Mathematics, B.S. Ed.), volleyball's Carrie Minogue (Entrepreneurship & Hospitality Tourism Management) and track/cross country's Luke Burton (Chemistry & Spanish).

Five student-athletes graduated with Honors College designation, with three being Summa Cum Laude - volleyball's Brittany Lysik and Carrie Minogue and Luke Burton - and two being Magna Cum Laude - soccer's Kayla Beauduy and track's Jettana Thomas.

More 2012 graduation notes:


Complete list of 2012 graduates:

Student-Athlete Sport Major Minor/Cognate
Barry, Katie Tennis Mathematics, B.S. & Mathematics, B.S. Ed.
Iglesias Díaz, Ainhoa Tennis Electrical Engineering Minor: Mathematics
Minter, Blaire W-Golf Psychology Minor: Coaching
Nelson, Rachel W-Golf Nutrition & Dietetics
Hunnicutt, Diamond W-Basketball Communication Minor: Management
Menendez, Kaila'Shea W-Basketball Psychology Minor: Health & Physical Education
Sanchez, Laura W-Basketball Management
Cole, Keaton M-Basketball Sociology Minor: Physical Education
Mutombo, Harouna M-Basketball Communication Minor: Coaching
Smithson, Sam M-Basketball Entrepreneurship Cognate: Marketing
Lysik, Brittany Volleyball Sport Management
Minogue, Carrie Volleyball Entrepreneurship & Hospitality Tourism Management
King, Katie Softball Management Minor: Sport Management
Blackwell, Andrew Baseball Business Administration & Law Minor: Banking
Chavis, Vance Baseball Engineering Technology Minor: Marketing
Dotson, Darron Baseball Construction Management Minor: Business Administration
Cain, Blake Football Entrepreneurship
Everett, Chris Football Entrepreneurship Cognate: Sciences
Harris, Nate Football Communication Concentrations: Public Relations/Broadcasting
Rhoney, Teddy Football Criminal Justice Minor: Coaching
Robinson, Eric Football Entrepreneurship Minor: Accounting
Selby, Trey Football Management
Spangler, Taylor Football Criminal Justice Minor: Emergency & Disaster Mgt.
Thomas, Dre Football Sociology Minor: Communication
Vaught, Brandon Football Entrepreneurship
Wilson, Dion Football Recreational Therapy
Woller, Aaron Football Finance
Burton, Luke M-Track Chemistry & Spanish
Davis, Benny M-Track Parks & Recreation Management
Parker, Wayne M-Track Nursing
Van Pelt, Jamie M-Track Political Science Minor: Coaching
Weaver, Josey M-Track Physical Education
Williams, Cornelius M-Track Criminal Justice Minor: Clinical Forensics
Barino, Saqweta W-Track Mathematics  Minor: Banking
Greene, NaKristen W-Track Criminal Justice
Jacobs, Olivia W-Track Nutrition & Dietetics
Bryant Zakiyyah W-Track Nutrition & Dietetics
Thomas, Jettana W-Track Social Work Minor: Leadership
Turner, Morgan W-Track Physical Education Minor: History
Beauduy, Kayla Soccer English Minors: Philosophy & Creative Writing
Lynn, Emily Soccer Construction Management Minor: Business Administration