May 10, 2008
Tuscaloosa, Ala. -
Approximately 2,800 University of Alabama students received both undergraduate and graduate degrees during spring commencement exercises Saturday, including 40 Crimson Tide student-athletes taking part in the ceremonies at Coleman Coliseum.
Two University-wide commencement ceremonies were held, at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., to award degrees. Doctoral, Education Specialist, and Master`s degree graduates participated with their divisions. At the 9 a.m. ceremony the Colleges of Education, Nursing, Communication and Information Sciences, and the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration awarded degrees. At 1:30 p.m., degrees were conferred in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Human Environmental Sciences, and the School of Social Work. A webcast of Saturday's ceremonies was broadcast live over the Internet. The webcast was archived on UA's website (www.ua.edu) and will be available for viewing until May 31.
"On behalf of the entire athletic department, I want to join with their families in saluting their academic success," Director of Athletics Mal Moore said. "These young people are to be commended for earning a degree from The University of Alabama. I know all of our coaches, staff members and former students join me in saluting them. In addition to the impressive workload a normal student carries, these student-athletes have also met their athletic obligations with distinction. We are extremely proud of them today."
Among Saturday's graduates were several notable current and former Alabama student-athletes:
Michael Thompson (finance): UA golfer played in the Masters, won the SEC, and earned his degree in finance. No one would fault Thompson if he had to postpone graduating a semester or two. He's been pretty busy this semester. He played in the Masters, the PGA's most prestigious tournament; became the Tide's first SEC individual golf champion in 56 years; and helped his team win the SEC championship. But Thompson wouldn't excuse himself, earning his degree on time.
Joseph Sykora (accountancy): While UA golf teammate Michael Thompson was playing in the Masters Golf tournament last month, Sykora was completing his own master's competition: his master's degree in accounting. This is the second degree Sykora has earned while being on the golf team. A native of Daphne, Sykora earned his bachelor's degree in accounting in 2007 with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. In addition to helping UA secure an SEC golf championship, Sykora was the individual medalist at the Topy Cup US-Japan Intercollegiate and the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate. He was also the Alabama State Match Play Champion and participated in the U.S. Amateur Match Play Championship. He is the 2008 recipient of both the Paul W. Bryant Student-Athlete Award and the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the Southeastern conference, a two-time member of the ESPN Magazine Academic All-America At-Large first-team and was voted the SEC Men's Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2006 and 2007.
Richard Hendrix (communications) & Greg Cage (criminal justice/psychology): Tide basketball players and roommates, Richard Hendrix and Greg Cage, are graduating in a team-record three years. Hendrix is a communications major, while Cage is a criminal justice/psychology major. After graduation, Hendrix will try for the NBA while Cage, a National Merit Scholar, will continue to play for the Tide as he works on an MBA and, eventually, a law degree.
Antonio London (interdisciplinary studies): A linebacker on the 1992 national championship football team at UA, London earned his bachelor's degree through UA's External Degree Program. He left UA in 1992 for the NFL where he played linebacker for six seasons for the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.
A complete list of student-athlete graduates follows below.
MAY 2008 STUDENT-ATHLETE GRADUATES
Matthew Bentley Baseball
Greg Cage Men's Basketball
Richard Hendrix Men's Basketball
Kyle Sellers Men's Basketball
Ronald Steele Men's Basketball
Taylor Allen Women's Basketball
Christina Elliott Women's Basketball
Nathalie Reshard Women's Basketball
Courtney Moore Football
Justin Moon Football
Barry Rinks Football
Joshua Curry Football
Will Oakley Football
Lemanski Hall Football
Roman Harper Football
Richard Moody Men's Golf
Joseph Sykora Men's Golf
Michael Thompson Men's Golf
Paul Guevara Men's Cross Country
Matthew Staggs Men's Cross Country
Julia Hicks Women's Cross Country
Leigh Lazarus Rowing
Sarah Beaver Rowing
Bryn Crawford Rowing
Margaret Strojny Rowing
Natalie Kohn Soccer
Emily Pitek Soccer
Danielle Woods Softball
Christina Owens Softball
Kimberly Singer Women's Swimming & Diving
Brandon Stephens Men's Track & Field
Augustus Maiyo Men's Track & Field
Peter Voorhees Men's Track & Field
Elizabeth Wancowicz Women's Track & Field
Trish Bartholomew Women's Track & Field
Megan Hudson Volleyball