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Former running back Phillip Sylvester attained his engineering degree.
Former running back Phillip Sylvester attained his engineering degree.
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Courtesy: Florida A&M Sports Information
FAMU Athletics Marches 40 Athletes Across the Stage
By: Florida A&M Sports Information  
TALLAHASSEE,FL (April 28) - In three ceremonies that stretched the capacity of the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium, FAMU held commencement ceremonies, signaling the end of the 2011-2012 school year. Among the droves of graduates were 40 FAMU student-athletes.

Topping the list was former FAMU golfer Gallop Franklin. Franklin played for the Rattler golf team from 2008-2011. During his career he was also elected FAMU SGA president twice. Then Governor Charlie Crist appointed him president of the Florida Student Association, where he was responsible for being the student representative on the Florida Board of Governors, for over 300,000 students in the state university system. Dr. Gallop Franklin, earned his doctorate in Pharmacy on Saturday.

Another milestone was the graduation of Danielle Anderson (basketball), Gina Davis (bowling) and Brandon Hepburn (football). These three student-athletes all attained Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry. With the university having just five total chemistry graduates in the entire university, student-athletes made up 60% of the university's chemistry graduates this semester.

Several athletes walked across the stage, as FAMU President Dr. James H. Ammons recognized them and took the opportunity to congratulate them on their accomplishments.

The three dynamic commencement speakers were a conglomeration of international symbolism. In the first commencement, FAMU alumnus, the Honorable Arthenia Joyner, was the keynote speaker. She graduated from FAMU Law School and is the only woman in the history of Florida to practice law for 42 consecutive years. Joyner is currently the Florida Senate Democratic Caucus' Pro Tem.

The second commencement speaker was the Honorable James E. Clyburn. Clyburn is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the 6th District in South Carolina. He is currently the highest-ranking African-American in the United States Congress, the third ranking Democratic overall.

The final speaker of the evening was the Honorable Raila A. Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya. Odinga is credited with restoring peace to Kenya following the controversial elections of 2007, which garnered international attention.

FAMU Athletics has made a commitment to pursuing athletes who could bolster the school's NCAA-required APR, and with 40 student-athletes graduating this Spring, the system is gaining consistency. Summer school and the newly renovated student learning center have also contributed to the academic success of FAMU's athletes.

Here is the full list of student-athletes who graduated this semester by sport (Ranked in order of # of graduates):

Football (15):
Alexander O. Ajayi (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Mondrell Demareo Clarke (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration)
Jack W. Culpepper (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Branden Richard Curry (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Qier Naloy Hall (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
*Robert L. Hartley (Bachelor of Science in Political Science)
Gregory Terrell Harvey, Jr. (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
*Brandon Alexander Hepburn (Bachelor of Science in Chemistry)
Kory I. McCloughen ( Bachelor of Science in History)
Ronald G. Jackson (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Padric Herndon-BivensScott (Bachelor of Science in Biology )
Anthony Allen Shutt (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Philip Martin Sylvester (Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering)
Brian Edward Tyms (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Jerry Anthony Willis, Jr. (Bachelor of Science in Agri-Business

Women's Basketball (5):
Danielle Anderson (Bachelor of Science in Chemistry)
Antonia Monique Bennett (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Tameka Jordan McKelton (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Regina Tanisha Smiley (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Euneshia Reshelle Proctor (Master of Science in Sports Management)-[Grad Asst.]

Cheerleaders (4):
Blayre A. Barlow ( Bachelor of Science in English Education)
Applemania L. Cook (Master of Education in Educational Leadership)
Zakiya Nailah Gaillard (Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology)
Ashley Lashay Garrett (Bachelor of Science in Journalism)

Men's Basketball (3):
Yannick Marquise Crowder (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration)
Rasheem Jenkins (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
*Jeffrey L. Neal II (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Delon S. Turner (Bachelor of Science in Agri-Business) [Returning student-athlete]

Softball (3):
*Britany Ann Doty (Bachelor Criminal Justice)
Amanda Nicole Reyes (Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies)
*Taylor J. West (Bachelor of Science in Health Science)

Men's Track (3):
Patrick Jerard Cooney (Bachelor of Science in Accounting)
Shelton Moran Tarver II (Bachelor of Science in Political Science)
Phillip James Washington (Bachelor of Science in Health Science)

Golf (3):
Shepherd Archie III (Bachelor of Science in Biology)
Gallop Phedro Franklin (Doctor of Pharmacy)
Wesley Calvin Yates ( Bachelor of Science in Economics)

Men's Tennis (2):
Michael Anthony Moore (Bachelor of Science in Political Science)
Simbrashe Happy (Master of Science in Sports Management)

Baseball (2):
Jarryd V. Reid (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration)
Cory Dennis Franklin (Bachelor Criminal Justice)

Bowling (1):
Gina Marie Davis (Bachelor of Science in Chemistry)

*Denotes student-athlete has eligibility remaining.




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