Buies Creek -- As their fellow graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas this weekend, twelve senior student athletes were far from Buies Creek. These members of the women’s golf, baseball and softball teams were on the road facing some tough competitions.
The women’s golf team finished eighth Saturday in the NCAA East Regional women’s golf championship, earning their first trip to the national tournament since 1997. Campbell’s baseball team swept a weekend series against VMI. And the women’s softball team made it to the semifinal round of the Big South Conference Championships.
These athletic commitments prevented the graduating senior team members from attending Saturday’s ceremonies, but the University awarded the sacrifice of these students with a special commencement ceremony on Monday, May 12 in Butler Chapel.
“They were all on the road and representing Campbell on the day of the graduation event,” said Bob Roller, athletics director. “It’s only fitting that we honor them with this ceremony.”
With family, friends and coaches on hand, the twelve graduates walked the stage and received their degrees from Campbell provost Mark Hammond and president Jerry Wallace.
For softball player Olivia Scarborough, the ceremony meant a lot.
“I loved it,” said the education major from Buies Creek. “We’ve done something special for Campbell and now they’re doing something special for us.”
Baseball player Aaron Vogt, an exercise science major from Wildwood, MO, appreciated the intimate nature of the ceremony.
“It was great to have a ceremony with all the athletes together,” he said. “It’s nice to see the effort that the university made for us.”
The tradition of a mini-commencement for senior athletes began six years ago when three softball players had a private ceremony in Wallace’s office. A few years later, the ceremony was moved to Butler Chapel.
Student athletes honored in today's ceremony included Hector Cedano, Hollywood, FL; Ryan Koopman, Tipp City, OH; Shaela Churchill, Winterville, NC; Jordan Clarke, Capron, VA; Amanda Daw, Belhaven, NC; Raven Lee, Battleboro, NC; Olivia Scarborough, Buies Creek, NC; Kaylin Yost, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Ryan Thompson, Turner, OR; Elijah Trail, Bakersfield, CA; Aaron Vogt, Wildwood, MO; and Brandon Wilson, Apex, NC.