Graduates from 10 Sports; Nittany Lion Football Program With 15 Graduates

Dec. 18, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa– Thirty Penn State student-athletes are scheduled to graduate during Commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 19 on the University Park campus.

Student-athletes representing 10 Penn State squads are on the approved to graduate list, including 14 members of the 2015 football team, three women’s volleyball players, three members of the men’s soccer team, two men’s swimmers, two members of the men’s track and field team and one student each from women’s fencing, women’s golf, women’s lacrosse, women’s soccer and wrestling.

Among the student-athletes approved to graduate are three members of the women’s volleyball team — Megan CourtneyKendall Pierce and Aiyana Whitney — who helped Penn State capture NCAA Championships in 2013 and ’14. Also set to graduate is women’s soccer goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom, who did not allow a goal in six NCAA Tournament matches to lead the Nittany Lions to their first National Championship earlier this month.

Also are among the student-athletes who intend to graduate are Darrell Hill, the 2014 and `15 Big Ten outdoor men’s shot put champion, and men’s swimmer Nate Savoy, an honorable-mention All-American.

Fourteen members of the football team have been approved to graduate, including center Angelo Mangiro, who will be earning a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an option in early childhood education. The other seniors who have been approved to graduate are: Matt Baney, Tarow Barney, first-team All-American Carl NassibTrevor Williams and All-Big Ten honoree Anthony Zettel.

The football graduates include eight players who have eligibility remaining for the 2016 season: Adam BrenemanDerek DowreyMalik GoldenAustin JohnsonJake KileyGeno LewisNyeem Wartman-White and Gary Wooten, Jr.

Also set to graduate on Saturday is former Nittany Lion cornerback Chaz Powell, who has been returning to campus one night each week this semester from his home in York to complete his degree requirements in criminal justice.

With the 13 new graduates this weekend, a total of 18 Penn State football student-athletes will have earned their degrees prior to the TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Georgia on January 2 in in Jacksonville.

Penn State student-athletes, who have captured a conference-best 22 Big Ten Championships and six NCAA titles the past three-plus years, consistently are among the nation’s most successful in earning their degrees and academic achievement. A sampling of recent academic accomplishments includes:

  • In October, the NCAA reported that Penn State student-athletes continue to graduate well above their peers nationwide, earning outstanding academic performances. The NCAA’s annual study of institutions across the nation revealed Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent compared to the 83 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2005-06 through the 2008-09 academic year.
  • Penn State’s entering 2008-09 freshman class of student-athletes delivered an improvement of three points from the previous year by posting an 80 percent Graduation Success Rate, 13 points above the Division I average of 67 percent, according to the NCAA.
  • Women’s volleyball All-American Haleigh Washington and football kick snapper Tyler Yazujian earned CoSIDA Academic All-America accolades this fall. PennState’s 191 all-time CoSIDA Academic All-Americans rank No. 4 among all Division I institutions.
  • Former Nittany Lion wrestler Matt Brown will receive the prestigious NCAA Top Ten Award in January at the NCAA Convention in San Antonio.

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