Vanderbilt's Commencement ceremony will take place from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Friday, May 10 on Alumni Lawn. The class of graduating seniors have accomplished a great deal during their time at Vanderbilt and will depart campus with many individual and team accolades. The group has won SEC titles, NCAA Tournament games, a bowl game and earned All-SEC and All-America honors. For all of their accomplishments on the field, what was done in the classroom is even more impressive.
Before the seniors received their diplomas, VUCommodores.com caught up with a number of them to discuss their future plans and reflect on some of their favorite memories.
Post-graduation plans: Attend graduate school at Vanderbilt's Peabody College in Leadership and Organizational Performance;. Work as a Management Trainee with Enterprise. Intern with Athlon Sports Publishing.
Favorite memory at Vanderbilt: The comeback our team made throughout the year my sophomore year (2010-2011 season) to rise at nationals and make the finals. Also, the 2012 match against Nebraska on television, and the atmosphere we felt/had afterwards was amazing and I'll never forget the feeling going into the last match where we finished NCAA runner-up.
Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Doing interviews for any of the videos I put together while interning with the athletics communications department and editing them together! I met and got to know a lot of athletes from other sports while making those videos and I had a great time doing it. I had some really interesting and/or hilarious responses to questions I asked in the Trendz series and it was awesome getting to see personalities shine through from the individuals I spoke with.
Favorite professor and/or class: Joseph Murphy, HOD Leadership. Hands down, one of the coolest guys and professors I've ever met.
In one word what does it feel like to be graduating: Serene
Favorite place on campus: My room
Favorite place in Nashville: Centennial Park and Parthenon
What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: How tightly knit the athletic community is with each other, and all of the opportunities available through involvement with Vanderbilt.
Degree: Human and Organizational Development; Child Development minor
Plans for next year: I plan on going back to Texas to continue my studies to become a physician's assistant.
Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: The SEC Swimming and Diving Championships every year. It is such a fun and exciting atmosphere to compete in and it is definitely something that I will never forget.
Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: My favorite memories involve the times I have spent with friends outside of swimming. I have met some incredible people from all over the nation, and I realize that I would have never had the opportunity to meet such a great group of diverse people if I had not gone to Vanderbilt.
Favorite professor and/or class: It is so hard to choose one favorite professor. Because my classes were in the Peabody School, the classes were smaller in size and I was able to get to know professors on a more personal level. I want to shout out to Professor Leigh Gilchrist, Hoover-Dempsey, Sandler, Van Schaack, and Kristen Tompkins. I feel blessed with the opportunity to have known and studied under each and every one of them.
In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Bittersweet. Although I am ready to move on to the next chapter of my life, I cannot help but feel sad that I am leaving Vanderbilt and Nashville behind. Nashville is a fun, beautiful city and I have met so many wonderful, fascinating people at Vanderbilt who I will truly miss.
Favorite place on campus: One of my favorite places is Grins café. It is one of my favorite spots to sit and study. Nothing beats getting a cookie and a coffee to get me through the long hours of schoolwork.
What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The people, of course.
What is your favorite place in Nashville: This is so hard to choose!I just love the city in general - the people, the atmosphere and the scenery.It is a big city with a small-town feel.
Plans for next year: I am moving to Nashville. I'm not sure what I want to do as far as a career, but I am excited to start the next stage of my life. I'm excited to find out what my other interests are besides bowling, and I hope being able to explore introduces me to my future career.
Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Both times making it to the NCAA Championship finals. The journey with both of those teams was a difficult process, but a rewarding ending. It showed hard work can pay off, and I've applied it to other parts of my life outside of bowling.
Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Experiencing international traveling last summer. Getting to visit Thailand (and winning a gold medal), Paris, and Italy was something few get to experience. To be able to travel the way we did was truly a blessing. It opened my eyes to many possibilities, and it's made me want to continue traveling the world.
Favorite professor and/or class: Professor David Rubin for WGS 150W and WGS 201. He is a huge reason I chose WGS as my major. His classes always improved my writing, and has made me want to continue writing outside of college.
In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: No words of happiness can describe the feeling that I have to be done with school.
Favorite place on campus: The new part of Rand Dining. I've spent many late nights there studying this year.
What is your favorite place in Nashville Green Hills Mall. The mall is my happy place I go to relax, and forget about school and bowling.
Post-graduation plans: Pursuing my masters in education in child studies at Peabody
Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Competing for the national championship, twice.
Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Spending quality time with my friends and teammates.
Favorite professor and/or class: It's so hard to choose professors because I have encountered so many amazing individuals. I think my favorite class has been The Civil Rights Movement Depicted in Children's Literature.
In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Accomplished
Favorite place on campus: The Peabody library
Favorite place in Nashville: I love driving around Franklin, and I also really like Hillsboro Village
What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The culture of being on a team and the friendships I have made.
Favorite athletic memory at Vanderbilt: My sophomore year at regionals we had to play in a team playoff for the last spot to make it to the National Championship. Playing in a team playoff is something that I will never experience again, so I will treasure that moment forever.
Favorite non-athletic memory at Vanderbilt: Having Nerf gun wars during finals as study breaks
Favorite class: Urban Economics
In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Humbling
Favorite place on campus: My room
Favorite place in Nashville: Mike's Ice Cream
What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: Living in the same building as friends, and being able to walk to Vanderbilt sporting events
Post-graduation plans: Graduate school at Vanderbilt
Favorite athletic memory from Vanderbilt: Beating long time Vandy rival UT for the first time in my collegiate career on Senior Night in front of my family, friends and an unbelievably supportive fan base. Also, on the same night getting my first and only career interception to help lead the team to victory.
Favorite non-athletic memory from Vanderbilt: My very first day/summer on campus and in class realizing that I beat the odds and would have the opportunity of a lifetime to make something of myself. Realizing that the next 4-5 years would begin to shape the rest of my life.
Favorite professor: Laurie Woods
In one word, what does it feel like to be graduating: Bittersweet
Favorite place on campus: Dudley Field
Favorite place in Nashville: Crosspoint Church
What will you miss most about Vanderbilt: The experience of being a student athlete and the opportunity to play the game I love on the field with my brothers.