Six of the Wildcats' 16 varsity athletics teams have student-athletes graduating today with 18 football graduates leading the way.
From Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management to Dietetics to Mathematics, 22 different majors are represented through this year's graduating class.
"Graduating from K-State, it's huge," said quarterback Jake Waters, an Academic All-Big 12 honoree, who will earn his degree in management this afternoon. "That was the biggest thing for my parents when I came here and accepted the scholarship - it was to get my degree. That's what I've always wanted to do, first and foremost, was to get that degree. It's going to be another special moment to go along with our senior day and the end of the season."
Also graduating from the Wildcat football team is running back DeMarcus Robinson, who will receive his degree in Sociology and Criminology. Excited to graduate, Robinson came to K-State from Northwest High School in Wichita, Kansas, and earning his degree at K-State means a lot to not just him, but to his entire family.
"(I'm the) first person to graduate college in my family. (This) is just a blueprint for all of my younger siblings," Robinson said to the K-State nation earlier this week through his Twitter account.
Coming off of a successful season where it went 22-9 (9-7, Big 12) and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time, K-State volleyball graduating seniors Taylor Johnson, Natali Jones and Chelsea Keating have had a busy semester.
"It's not surprising because I watch what they do. I watch them study on the bus, I watch them study on the plane and I watch them study between practices," said head coach Suzie Fritz when asked about the academic success of her seniors. "So, I see how hard they work at it. They've earned it. They've put in their time, they've done everything we've asked of them and more - they've exceeded our expectations - from an academic perspective, and they have made it a priority in their lives."
Johnson, who is graduating with a degree in Marketing and Management, is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team and Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll (Fall 2013) recipient.
"The thing that I'm going to miss the most is not going to be the stats or the details of volleyball, but it's going to be going out there, putting on my jersey and competing in front of the fans, the family," explained Johnson. "That family atmosphere, the adrenaline of playing and being around these people, that's what I'm going to miss the most."
Also from the volleyball squad, Keating, a two-time Academic All-Big 12 Second Team (2013-14) and Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll (Fall 2013, Spring 2014) recipient, will graduate today with a degree in Animal Sciences and Industry.
"It's pretty cool, now thinking about it," said Keating. "Being a student-athlete, it all seems normal to me, but compared to traditional students, having volleyball and practice on top of everything, it is awesome to be able to accomplish it all and graduate. I'm just proud. It's quite the accomplishment, so I'm proud of myself and I'm glad I am able to do it. I love this place."
After a long career of being a part of the K-State rowing program's continued and growing success, senior Megan Murray of Overland Park, Kansas, has been on the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll every semester, she's a three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member, a two time All-C-USA Academic Team member and topped off her Wildcat career by earning CRCA National Scholar Athlete honors in the spring of 2014.
"Graduating is a huge accomplishment because it's something that I've been working for and that people have been supporting me for four and a half years," explained Murray who is graduating with a degree in Dietetics. "What I'll take with me from K-State is the foundation that I've already set here of working hard, being disciplined and investing myself, and that will hopefully continue to carry out through the rest of my life."
Each and every student-athlete graduating today has represented K-State both on the playing field and in the classroom. Often, juggling schoolwork, training and competitions is a balancing act, but these student-athletes, these 38 competitors, got it done.
With that, congratulations to this year's Wildcat graduating class!
Shane Conlon - Social Sciences
Ross Kivett - Communication Studies
Daniel Klein - Management
Mitch Meyer - Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management
Victoria Ayers - Animal Sciences and Industry
Jordan Cox - Animal Sciences and Industry
Allison Freeman - Mass Communications
Laura Lafnitzegger - Elementary Education
Mariah Moxley - Management
Randall Evans - Criminology and American Ethnics
Taylor Godinet - Sociology and Criminology
Weston Hiebert - Agricultural Economics
Kason Hostrup - Management
Tyler Lockett - Management
Charmeachealle Moore - Family Studies
Ryan Mueller - Marketing
Angelo Pease - Social Sciences
DeAndre Roberts - Social Sciences
DeMarcus Robinson - Sociology and Criminology
David Smith - Entrepreneurship
Tate Snyder - Kinesiology
Logan Stephens - Agribusiness
Boston Stiverson - Sociology and Criminology
Zach Trujillo - Management Information Systems
Jake Waters - Management
Cody Whitehair - Social Sciences
Dillon Wilson - Communication Studies
Gianna Misenhelter - Mass Communications
Megan Murray - Dietetics
Elizabeth Demars - Elementary Education
Men's Track and Field:
Fernando Roman - Mathematics
Cameron Savage - Accounting and Finance
Kyle Wait - Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management
Caitlyn Donahue - Secondary Education
Taylor Johnson - Marketing and Management
Natali Jones - Life Sciences
Dakota Kaufman - Secondary Education
Chelsea Keating - Animal Sciences and Industry