Nearly 100 Penn State student-athletes approved to graduate this weekend

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nearly 100 Penn State student-athletes have been approved to graduate in ceremonies this weekend on the University Park campus. A total of 97 Nittany Lion students representing 28 teams are listed among those approved to receive their undergraduate or master’s degrees.

Among the 97 Nittany Lion students approved to graduate, 55 (57 percent) have garnered Academic All-Big Ten honors during the past year for earning at least a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average.

With this weekend’s 97 student-athletes approved to graduate and 43 from December 2017's graduation, a total of 140 Nittany Lions have earned their degrees so far during the 2017-18 academic year, with additional graduates to come in August.

The women’s track and field team leads all Penn State squads with 13 graduates, while the football squad has 10. The Nittany Lion wrestling and baseball teams have six student-athletes on the graduation list, followed by five graduates from women’s fencing, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse and women’s swimming and diving.

Among the Nittany Lion students approved to graduate this weekend is wrestling Zain Retherford, a two-time Hodge Trophy Winner, three-time NCAA Champion and first team CoSIDA Academic All-American. Also among the graduates are Megan McCloskey (women’s track and field), who was a recipient of the University’s John W. Oswald Award, and Julian Moore (men’s basketball), who is earning a master’s degree.

Katie O’Donnell (women’s lacrosse), Megan Schafer (women’s soccer) and Jason Cabinda, Trace McSorley and Nick Scott (football) also are among the students approved to graduate.

Penn State student-athletes, who have captured 34 Big Ten Championships and conference-best nine NCAA titles since the 2012 fall semester, consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees.

Record-tying 90 Percent NCAA Graduation Rate for Nittany Lion Student-Athletes

Last November, the NCAA released its annual national graduation rates study, which revealed that Penn State student-athletes tied the school record by posting a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent compared to the 86 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2007-08 through the 2010-11 academic year. Nine teams earned a 100 percent GSR in the NCAA's 2017 report.

Penn State, No. 2 in the 2018 final Winter Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, has one of the nation's most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men's, 15 women's).

A school record 26 teams and 520 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned at least a 3.0 grade-point average during the 2017 fall semester, including a record 253 who earned Dean’s List recognition for having a 3.5 GPA. Penn State ranks No. 4 among all Division I schools with 200 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including Emily Ogle (women's soccer) and Haleigh Washington (women's volleyball) during the 2017 fall semester.

Penn State's 50 NCAA Championships all-time (78 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State's 31 NCAA titles since 1992-93 lead all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 107 Big Ten championships or tournament titles since capturing their first crown in 1992-93, including conference titles in women's soccer, women's volleyball and wrestling so far in 2017-18.

Last Updated May 03, 2018