Record 135 Penn State Student-Athletes Approved to Graduate this Weekend

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; May 2, 2019 – A Penn State record 135 student-athletes have been approved to graduate this weekend in ceremonies on the University Park campus. Nittany Lion students representing 29 teams are listed among those approved to receive their undergraduate or master’s degrees following the spring semester.

The 135 Nittany Lions on the approved to graduate list shatters the previous mark of 111 graduates, set during the 2017 spring semester. Including the 34 graduates from the fall semester, a school record 169 student-athletes have earned their diplomas thus far in 2018-19, with additional graduates to come in August. The Nittany Lions’ previous yearly high was 156 graduates in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Among the 135 Nittany Lion students approved to graduate, 65 percent (88 total) have garnered Academic All-Big Ten honors during the past year for earning at least a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average.

The football team leads all Penn State squads with 15 spring graduates, the women’s track and field/cross country team squad has 13 graduates and the men’s track and field/cross country team has 10. The Nittany Lion field hockey and wrestling teams are next with nine student-athletes apiece on the graduation list.

Among the Nittany Lion students approved to graduate this weekend is men’s gymnastics All-American Noah Roberson, who owns a 4.0 grade-point average and is a Schreyer Honors Scholar. Roberson will serve as a student marshal in Friday night’s College of Engineering commencement as a double major in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering. He will be earning undergraduate and master’s degrees this weekend through the Schreyer College’s integrated undergraduate-graduate program. In April, Roberson became just the sixth three-time recipient of the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award.

Also among the Nittany Lions scheduled to graduate are five 2019 NCAA individual champions: Ally McHugh (women’s swimming and diving), Karol Metryka (men’s fencing) and Anthony Cassar, Bo Nickal and Jason Nolf (wrestling). The trio of wrestlers helped the Nittany Lions capture their fourth consecutive NCAA Championship.

In addition to Roberson, five more Penn State student-athletes are approved to earn master’s degrees this weekend: Christi Vetter (women’s hockey), Jan Johnson and Charlie Shuman (football), Woo Kim and Dani Marks (men’s soccer)

Penn State Among the Nation’s Most Comprehensive and Successful Athletic Programs

Under the leadership of Vice President for Athletics Sandy Barbour, Penn State 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). Nittany Lionstudents, who have captured 40 Big Ten Championships and a conference-best nine NCAA titles since the 2013 fall semester,consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees.

Nittany Lion students have posted an NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent the past two years, which ties Penn State’ all-time high. Eight teams earned a 100 percent graduation rate in the 2018 NCAA Graduation Rates Report. The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 204 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time

Penn State’s 51 NCAA Championships all-time (79 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 32 NCAA titles since 1992-93, including a fourth consecutive NCAA Wrestling Championship in March, lead all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 112 Big Ten championships or tournament titles since capturing their first crown in 1992-93, most recently men’s lacrosse on April 20.

Penn State was No. 3 in the 2019 final winter Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings, earning its 14th consecutive Top 5 Directors’ Cup winter finish.

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