Tech student-athletes participate in spring commencement ceremony

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech held its spring commencement ceremony Friday, and more than 80 Virginia Tech student-athletes received their diplomas, with several receiving a second undergraduate degree and several earning master’s degrees in their various fields of study.

The graduating contingent included nine football players – James Clark, Deon Newsome, Greg Stroman, Ricky Walker, Jack Click, Travon McMillian, Billy Ray Mitchell, D.J. Reid and Trey Skeens. Walker, a rising redshirt senior (on the field) from Hampton, Virginia who returns this fall as the leader of the Hokies’ defense, picked up two degrees, one in sociology and one in criminology.

Also, seven men’s track and field athletes and seven women’s swimmers/divers graduated, along with six volleyball players and six lacrosse student-athletes. The lacrosse players and men’s tennis standout George Cartledge missed the commencement ceremony because of their participation in NCAA Championships events Friday, as Tech’s lacrosse team played against Georgetown in Raleigh, North Carolina and the men’s tennis squad took on Kentucky in Columbus, Ohio.

Graduates from both teams, along with those on the Tech men’s and women’s track and field teams, were honored at a special ceremony on Monday afternoon at Lane Stadium. The track and field teams are participating at the ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Coral Gables, Florida this weekend.

Walker wasn’t the only student-athlete to receive two degrees Friday. Baseball pitcher Luke Scherzer received degrees in criminology and sociology, and Andrew Goldman, a runner on the men’s track and field team, earned degrees in mathematics and computer science. Also, Torben Laidig, a pole vaulter on the men’s track and field team, earned degrees in biochemistry and biological sciences. Goldman and Laidig were in Coral Gables with the men’s track and field squad.

Two other student-athletes earned a second degree after earning their original undergraduate diploma at an earlier date. Nora McKiver, a runner on the women’s track and field team, graduated last spring with a degree in human development, and Friday, she earned a degree in sociology. Men’s basketball player Devin Wilson, who graduated in the fall of 2016 with a degree in political science, graduated with a second degree Friday in literature and language.

Five Tech student-athletes earned master’s degrees Friday, including Clark (curriculum and instruction), men’s track and field runner Daniel Jaskowak (human nutrition, foods and exercise), men’s track and field pole vaulter James Steck (curriculum and instruction), women’s pole vaulter Kristen Lee (accounting and information systems), and women’s pole vaulter Olivia Privitera (human nutrition, foods and exercise).

Several Tech student-athletes will receive degrees following the completion of summer school courses. That group includes football players AJ Bush, C.J. Carroll and Andrew Motuapuaka, men’s soccer standout Marcelo Acuna, men’s diver Jack Gigliotti, men’s basketball player Ahmed Hill and women’s tennis player Sarah Baron. A few of these individuals participated in Friday’s commencement ceremony.

Also, volleyball standout Stacey Christy will earn her master’s degree in agricultural and life sciences this summer.

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