85 Temple Student-Athletes Participate in Commencement Exercises

PHILADELPHIA - A total of 85 Temple University student-athletes participated in Thursday’s 124th annual Commencement ceremonies at the Liacouras Center. The Commencement exercises celebrated the achievements of the largest graduating class in Temple history with a total of 6,252 graduates.

Among those participating were women’s basketball team members Qwedia Wallace (Wilmington, N.C.), an Atlantic 10 third-team selection and Big 5 first-team selection, and Marli Bennett (Pilot Mountain, N.C.), an Academic All-Big 5 honoree; men’s basketball’s Micheal Eric (Lagos, Nigeria); All-Mid-Atlantic Region second-team honoree Sarah Dalrymple (Hanover, Pa.) from field hockey; All-MAC selection Elijah “Peanut” Joseph (Hartford, Conn.) and AFCA Good Works Team member Amara Kamara (Newark, N.J.) from football; and lacrosse’s Ann Stouffer (Haddonfield, N.J.), an Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team selection.

Eric, as well as football’s Matt Balasavage (Lancaster, Pa.) and Morkeith Brown (Harrisburg, Pa), graduated in four years or less. All three will return next season to complete their final year of eligibility.Chris Matthews, a Philadelphia native who has built a national reputation as host of “Hardball” on MSNBC and “The Chris Matthews Show” on NBC, received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in recognition of his public service contributions and professional achievements.

“It is a day of celebration for Temple Athletics,” Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw said. “Our head coaches are to be congratulated for playing critical roles in the student-athletes’ success on and off the field of competition. We are most proud of our student-athletes’ success in the classroom. This is a reflection of a reorganized academic support system which has helped bolster our APR scores.”

The 85 student-athletes represented 23 of Temple’s 24 intercollegiate sports (men’s tennis had no seniors). Football had the most graduates with 14, followed by baseball with nine and women’s soccer with seven. The numbers include fall 2010 and summer 2011 graduates.

Tight end Vaughn Charlton (Landenberg, Pa.), nose tackle Eli Joseph (Hartford, Conn.), and safety Jaiquawn Jarrett (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles last month, received their degrees in January.  NFL players Alex Joseph (San Francisco 49ers) and Andre Neblett (Carolina Panthers, who returned this spring to finish their degrees, will graduate this summer but participated in today’s exercises.

In celebration of the accomplishments of the graduating seniors, Temple Athletics hosted a reception following graduation exercises for the student-athletes and their families.