Spring commencements include 60 students from Athletics

Story and photos by Rob Schabert, Sports Information Director

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- There are dozens and dozens of songs celebrating success and achievement, from Kool and the Gang to Lil Wayne, from Melissa Manchester to Barry Manilow, from Shania Twain to Keith Urban.

But on Saturday, to the more than 1,000 graduates who glided across the stage in Eblen Center to accept their degree from Tennessee Tech President Dr. Philip Oldham at the University's two commencement ceremonies, the only lyrics they heard were the sound of their own names being called.

And, among that gathering were more than 60 from Athletics who completed their mission and graduated. From Kolbe Andrzejewski and Syrym Abdukhalikov, to Jud and Jala (Dillard and Harris), to K.G and G.K. (Kelsey Gray and Greg Kitts), it didn't matter whether it was in the morning or afternoon, whether the drizzle was falling or the sun was shining (it was), Saturday was a special day.

The graduating class included Tech's two sets of twin sisters (photo above right), Brittney and Chanelle Spalding from the softball team, and Kellie and Kylie Cook from the women's basketball team.

For the Golden Eagle baseball team, which is locked in a battle for the Ohio Valley Conference championship and is currently in first place while in the midst of a three-game road series at Southeast Missouri, the day didn't slide by without recognition for its three graduates. While in Cape Girardeau, Mo., the team celebrated the graduation of James Abraham, Zephan Guyear and Andy Williams (photo below/contributed by Golden Eagle baseball team).

Shown below are many of the graduates as the prepared to walk onto the floor. (Click here for a complete listing of all the graduates from Athletics).

Arturo Santa Ruiz, Tennis

Kerri Reid, Soccer

Kedrick Towles (left) and Justin Vann, Football
Nathan Livesey (left) and Adam McLeod, Cross Country
Kelsey Gray, Volleyball
Greg Kitts, Golf
Kolbe Andrzejewski, Cross Country

Jacqueline Watkins, Soccer
Seth Bruton, Marketing (left), Syrym Abdukhalikov, Tennis (center) and
Jud Dillard, Basketball (right)

Lashay Davis, Basketball, and Amanda Randolph, Golf
Jala Harris, Basketball
Lee Gatts, Football Manager and SGA President
Jacob Hoot, Football

Amanda Dunham, Dance Team
Track and Cross Country, from left, Beth Miller, Kathryn Forbes, Haley
Wennerstrom and Traci Jones
Athletic Training G.A. Chuck Cushman (left) and Manager John Albertson
Ben Burgess, Baseball

Lee Henry, Baseball

Soccer Grads, from left, Alex Stevenson, Andrea Meloff and Kris Cambron
Softball Grads, from left, Brittney Spalding, Claudia Harke, Melody
Christian and Chanelle Spalding
Lee Maxwell, Golf
Ben Downs, Baseball
Ryan Tilghman, Football
Katie Lowery, Track & Field
Adam Hunter, Football
Michelle Decker, Soccer
Carter Crutchfield, Football
Terrell Barnes, Basketball
Tommie McBride, Football
Katherine Bell, Golf
Nick Fletcher, Football
Women's Basketball, from left, Kellie Cook, Katherine Barker and
Kylie Cook