May 7, 2009
Forty-seven Vols and Lady Vols representing 12 sports will walk across the stage this week receiving their diplomas, and continuing Tennessee's athletics commitment to excellence in the classroom.
"These students have worked hard to reach this achievement and earn their degrees," said Eric Brey director of the Thornton Center. "They now have earned the distinction of being University of Tennessee Alumni. We are very proud of their accomplishments."
Among the graduates is two-time silver medalist swimmer Christine Magnuson. Football standout Jacques McClendon will be receiving his degree in Finance after only three years. He will enter graduate school this summer.
The graduates include six former Tennessee student-athletes that have returned to the University: Corey Campbell (football), Kelly Edmundson (baseball), Jonathan Heffney (football), Ryan Karl (football), Matt McGlothlin (football), and Jayson Swain (football). These men finished their degree through the Thornton Center's Renewing Academic Commitment program. The RAC program works with former student-athletes by assisting them with advice on remaining degree requirements, course scheduling, tutoring, employment and internships opportunities offered through the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program, as well as use of the Thornton Center for their everyday needs.
Kelly Edmundson and Jonathan Heffney both made sacrifices to complete their degrees. Edmundson left a full-time position at a baseball training facility in Memphis to return to college. He currently has multiple job offers now that his degree is complete. Heffney put his NFL career on hold in pursuit of his diploma. He plans to try and make a pro team this summer, however is missing spring camps to earn his degree.
Ceremonies for the various colleges began Wednesday and continue through Friday, May 8. The commencement ceremonies will take place at Thompson-Bowling Arena and the James R. Cox Auditorium in the Alumni Memorial Building.
Media interested in talking with any of the student-athlete graduates are invited to attend the post-graduation reception for student-athletes, their families and coaches at the Thornton Center Friday, May 8, beginning at 11 a.m.
2009 Spring Graduates are:
Kelly Edmundson (RAC)
Corey Campbell (RAC)
Jonathan Hefney (RAC)
Ryan Karl (RAC)
Matt McGlothlin (RAC)
Jayson Swain (RAC)
Swimming and Diving
Track and Field