A total of 49 Southeast Missouri student-athletes received degrees last Saturday during commencement exercises.
Prior to commencement, the graduating Redhawks were honored Friday afternoon at a pre-graduation ceremony held at the University Center. Director of Athletics Brady Barke addressed the attendees before Deja Jones of women's basketball provided remarks.
Zaki Ali, a former student-athlete at SEMO and now an attorney in Indianapolis, was the keynote speaker. Zaki’s message retold his story of overcoming adversity in his journey to where he is today. He also imparted some advice to the graduates, encouraging them to stay prepared mentally, physically, and spiritually in order to achieve success.
Coaches and academic services staff then concluded the event with an honorary sashing ceremony.
A pair of student-athletes were also recognized for their outstanding academic careers. Former baseball student-athlete Clay Chandler was awarded the Jewel Award, given to the graduating male student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average. Soccer student-athlete Maggie Pike was awarded the Trombetta Award, given to graduating female student-athlete with the highest GPA.
Last weekend, the Redhawks track & field teams also competed in the OVC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The men finished third and the women placed fifth in the event. Sophomore Jonno Engelking was named OVC Co-Field Athlete of the Year prior to the championship, and he went on to throw a new personal best – a mark that now ranks fifth in the nation. Redhawk track & field athletes will now wait for the NCAA announcement of qualifiers for the NCAA West Preliminary which will be held next week.
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