TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Aug.4) – Commencement is a time for celebrating the academic achievements of all of the students of an institution. It is even more remarkable for student-athletes to stand out as competition in this arena is fierce. By far, the biggest ovation came during FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D.’s comments on exceptional grads at the beginning of Summer Commencement 2017.
He commended six young ladies for an exceptional four year career at Florida A&M. Denise Anderson, Whitney Farris, Amber Fullwood, Tashayla Irvis, Miesha Mcbride and Kenya Pereira are the former softball players who were commended to a roaring ovation of the thousands in attendance.
These sensational six ladies led a star-studded roster of student-athletes who attained their ultimate victory; a degree from Florida A&M University.
One of the most decorated athletes in FAMU sports history was also attaining her degree at the same ceremony. Cynthia Chelelgo, a standout on the Lady Rattler cross country and track and field teams also was awarded a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Along with her degree, she takes quite a bit of hardware with her. She led the Lady Rattlers to four consecutive MEAC cross country titles, a feat that had not been done before. She made All-MEAC 12 times during her running career. She was named MEAC Outstanding Athlete for cross country in 2015 and ran once in the NCAA Regional Cross Country meet. She also led the Lady Rattlers to back-to-back MEAC Outdoor championships in 2015 and 2016. The Eldoret, Kenya native was a fixture on the MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic team.
“Graduation is the best win of the year. We celebrate our student-athletes and their achievement of their goals of getting a top-notch education at the premier educational institution that is Florida A&M University,” said Milton Overton Jr., FAMU Director of Athletics.
In all, there were 15 former student-athletes who attained degrees at commencement. This is an upward trend as summer commencement is the smallest of all FAMU commencement ceremonies. It is an indicator that the academic success initiatives put in place for the athletics department have been effective. As of now, every FAMU athletic team has been academically compliant and cleared for competition.
“Our coaches have bought into the priority of academic achievement. It begins with the recruiting process. Finding great athletes who are dedicated in the classroom is a task that has been on the forefront of objectives for our department. We salute all of our graduates as they embark on their venture into t he world and expect each one of them to bring positive citizenship to our country and world,” overton concluded.
The following student-athletes completed their degrees on Friday night:
Denise Anderson (Softball)
Jocari Beattie (TRACK)
Jacquez Bryant (FOOTBALL)
Kashawn Butler (FOOTBALL)
Cynthia Chelelgo (TRACK/CROSS COUNTRY)
Whitney Farris (SOFTBALL)
Amber Fullwood (SOFTBALL)
Tashayla Irvis (SOFTBALL)
Miesha McBride (SOFTBALL)
Brooksie McGraw (BASKETBALL)
Victoria Nguyen (BASKETBALL)
Kenya Pereira (SOFTBALL)
Mariah Reynolds (BASKETBALL)
Olivia Rolle (TENNIS)
Alexsis Sandage (SOFTBALL)