Special Commencement Ceremony Honors Student-Athletes

May 9, 2019

More than 20 student-athletes at St. John Fisher College will engage in post-season play while their peers cross the stage during the College’s 65th Commencement Ceremony. To give these graduating seniors an opportunity to cross the stage and experience the pomp and circumstance that comes with Commencement, the College officially recognized their achievements during the inaugural Student-Athlete Commencement on Wednesday, May 8.

A student shakes hands with President Rooney after receiving her diploma.

During the ceremony, President Gerard J. Rooney addressed the graduates before conferring their degrees.

“You have all been a part of that growth, those successes, and new beginnings.  You have enlivened the good, smart, and talented motto of our athletic department. You have triumphed both on and off the field.  Today, we celebrate you,” he said.

Graduating senior Anthony Loussedes leads the procession during the Student-Athlete Commencement Ceremony.

Graduating senior Anthony Loussedes leads the procession during the Student-Athlete Commencement Ceremony.

Senior Anthony Loussedes, a sport management major and four-year member of the baseball team, delivered remarks on behalf of his class.

“Whatever path you are headed after today, whether it be graduate school, a career, or some other road less traveled, remember to always do it with excellence; as you did every time you stepped on the field, in the gym, in the weight room, or in the classroom,” he said.

At the ceremony, graduating student-athletes representing men’s golf, women’s lacrosse, softball, track and field, and baseball were joined by their families, friends, coaches, and professors. While the baseball team is just heading into conference championship play, the other three teams each captured Empire 8 championships, and will head into regional play over the coming weeks.

At a luncheon on Monday, May 6, the College honored all graduating student-athletes. They were each given a framed Fisher Athletics logo in the form of a varsity letter with a plaque displaying their sport and the years they participated. Ten seniors were recognized for community service, academic success, career achievement, perseverance, and excellence in more than one sport.

Lauren Fazio (field hockey) received the Phil Kahler Award for female senior athlete of the year, and Ryan Henderson (men’s basketball) was honored with the Bob Ward Award for male senior athlete of the year. Ross Mathewson (football and men’s track and field) received the Dual Threat Award.

The Male Career Athlete Award was given to Demarre Nelson (football), while the Female Athlete Career Award was given to Ashley Prince (softball) and Sarah Kubik (softball).

The Community Champion Award, sponsored by Taylor the Builders, was given to Josh Miles (men’s soccer). Ashley Maynard (field hockey) was honored with the Senior Leadership Award.

Olivia Marziale (women’s lacrosse) and Jarrett Pelton (men’s tennis) were given Senior Scholar-Athlete Awards.