LSU Athletics Honors 52 Grads Virtually at 'The Tribute'

by Michael Bonnette (@LSUBonnette)
LSU Athletics Grads (since 1990) +0
LSU Athletics Honors 52 Grads Virtually at 'The Tribute'

BATON ROUGE – LSU’s 52 student-athlete graduates were honored virtually on Thursday night as the school hosted its annual “Tribute”, a ceremony where each graduate is presented with their special student-athlete graduate stole. 

The Tribute also recognized LSU’s student-athletes for their academic achievement and those that have exhausted their athletic eligibility received their first-year membership into the LSU National L Club, the school’s letterwinner’s award group. 

The 52 student-athletes will officially graduate from LSU on Friday when the university will hold a virtual graduation for its spring graduates. 

Among those participating in The Tribute were LSU Director of Athletics Scott Woodward and LSU Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Stacia Haynie.

“You are all part of the most unique stole ceremony in the history of LSU Athletics,” Woodward said. “All of you have overcome obstacles, some greater than others. But all of you now have a common challenge, one that we all share. It may not seem fair to graduate during a global pandemic, because it isn’t. There is nothing fair or normal about this. But it is an opportunity – an opportunity to be at the leading edge of the next phase in all of our lives across the globe.

“Some of you are going on to your professional lives, or graduate school or maybe as professional athletes. But all of you share the opportunity to lead us toward a new and better future. I can promise you we will be relying on you for your energy, passion, intellect and innovation as we define our new normal. 

“Your accomplishments here as elite student-athletes on and off the field are truly impressive. I marvel at what you do and how you do it. Your talent, intellect, commitment and drive will serve you well in the next steps of your lives. Go after it, just as you did to achieve your degrees.”

Skylar Mays, a two-time first team Academic All-America, the 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-America of the Year in men’s basketball and two-time SEC Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, addressed the group on behalf of the graduating class. 

“We all had our own unique experience here as student-athletes,” Mays said. “We are all going to appreciate LSU and our experience here for teaching us how exactly determined we had to be in order to be the best at what we do.

“We are always linked to this great institution. There’s more to be written for our individual legacies as we continue to go through life. We need to understand that playing for LSU was a privilege that was earned by the hard work and sacrifice that we all put in during our time here.” 

Mays left the group of student-athlete graduates participating in the virtual ceremony with this thought, “Look forward to reaping the blessings of your accomplishments, look forward to your degree and connections working for you, chase your dreams and follow the path ahead of you. Look forward to passing the torch to the next set of athletes to wear the purple and gold and proudly display those three letters across their chest. Look forward to coming back and as an alumnus and watching the next generation of Tigers accomplish big things and know that this is part of the ground work that we laid. This journey has made us better people and we are fully prepared for the next step.”

Spring 2020 LSU Athletics Graduates

College of Agriculture (2)
Sara Funderburk, Track & Field, Animal Sciences
Hollie Parker, Track & Field, Textiles, Apparel & Merchandising

College of The Coast & Environment (1)
Will Arthur, Swimming & Diving, Coastal Environmental Science

College of Engineering (3)
Nicole Rozier, Swimming & Diving, Chemical Engineering
Sven Saemundsson, Swimming & Diving, Chemical Engineering
Michael Smith, Football, Electrical Engineering

E.J. Ourso College of Business (15)
Matthew Beck, Baseball, Finance
Colby Brunet, Football, General Business
Raigen Cianciulli, Volleyball, Finance
Claire Coppola, Beach Volleyball, Master of Business Administration
Lindsey Eaton, Soccer, Marketing
Lindsay Flory, Volleyball, Master of Business Administration
Drew Gonzales, Men’s Golf, Finance
Marshall Graves, Men’s Basketball, General Business
Ruy Teixeira, Men’s Tennis, General Business
Annie Jung, Track & Field, General Business
Ashlyn Kirby, Gymnastics, Accounting
Taryn Kloth, Beach Volleyball, Master of Business Administration
Karl Luht, Swimming & Diving, Finance
Eric Walker, Baseball, Finance
Jack Wilkes, Track & Field, Master of Business Administration

College of Human Sciences & Education (20)
LaToya Ashman, Women’s Basketball, Sports Administration
Caitie Cantrill, Soccer, Kinesiology
Monica Dibildox, Women’s Golf, Sports Administration
Mia Dubroc, Soccer, Kinesiology
Kennedi Edney, Gymnastics, Sports Administration
Aaron George, Baseball, Sports Administration
Andre Girouard, Track & Field, Kinesiology
Ruby Harrold, Gymnastics, Kinesiology
Hunter Kiel, Baseball, Sports Administration
Skylar Mays, Men’s Basketball, Kinesiology
Sydney Mukes, Volleyball, Leadership & Human Resource Development
Olivia Powers, Beach Volleyball, Sports Administration
Jakori Savage, Football, Sports Administration
Allyson Seals, Track & Field, Kinesiology
Rakell Spencer, Women’s Basketball, Sports Administration
Courtney Tapocik, Track & Field, Sports Administration
Jariel Tureaud, Volleyball, Sports Administration
Reuben Twijukye, Track & Field, Doctor of Philosophy
Kahlee York, Beach Volleyball, Kinesiology
Anna Zwiebel, Volleyball, Kinesiology

College of Humanities & Social Sciences (10)
Da’Quan Bellard, Track & Field, Interdisciplinary Studies
Donavaughn Campbell, Football, Interdisciplinary Studies
Travin Dural, Football, Interdisciplinary Studies
Christian LaCouture, Football, Master of Arts In Liberal Arts
Tonea Marshall, Track & Field, Sociology
Lauren McIntosh, Swimming & Diving, Psychology
Ayana Mitchell, Women’s Basketball, Interdisciplinary Studies
Richard Thompson, Track & Field, Sociology
Cole Tracy, Football, Master of Arts In Liberal Arts
Amelie Whitehurst, Track & Field, History

Manship School of Mass Communication (1)
Lizzie Cui, Swimming & Diving, Mass Communication