Athletics News

Student-Athletes Set to Take Part in Graduation

June 9, 2017

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Thirty Western Washington University student-athletes will participate in graduation ceremonies to be held Saturday, June 10, at the newly renovated Carver Gymnasium on the WWU campus.

The list of participants includes student-athletes who have earned All-America, All-GNAC and academic awards during their careers at Western.

This group of Vikings were part of one of the most successful seasons in WWU Athletics history, with 13 of 15 intercollegiate programs reaching the NCAA Division II Championships and an 11th-place finish out of over 300 Division II schools in the 2016-17 Learfield Directors’ Cup standings. For the first time in WWU history, two teams won national championships during a school year, with the women’s soccer and women’s rowing teams bringing home the 10th and 11th team national titles in school history.

While having success in competition, WWU student-athletes continued to shine in the classroom as well. Using the NCAA Academic Success Rate, which includes all freshmen student-athletes from the fall of 2009 and also accounts for student-athletes who transfer into or out of the institution, WWU posted an 86 percent success rate, compared to the NCAA II national number of 71 percent. WWU’s federal grad rate for student-athletes for the entering class of 2009, which looks only at how many freshmen student-athletes who received athletically based financial aid and graduated within six years, was 85 percent, compared to the NCAA II national rate of 56 percent.

Amongst the WWU student-athletes who will participate in the graduation ceremonies are men’s basketball All-American and 2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year Taylor Stafford (Chicago, IL), women’s basketball All-American and 2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year Taylor Peacocke (Kenmore, WA), three-time First Team All-American javelin thrower Bethany Drake (Sandy, OR), who will receive her master’s degree, women’s soccer All-American Caitlyn Jobanek (Springfield, OR), four-year volleyball letterwinner Bryce Larson (Mukilteo, WA) standout triple jumper Jasmine McMullin (Sequim, WA), All-Region golfer Brett Johnson (Ridgefield, WA) and national championship rowers Kia Parrish-Haim (Ashland, OR), Emily Bartlett (Broadlands, VA), Mary Harper (Seattle, WA), Molly Ware (Olympia, WA) and Nicole Vanderzanden (Vancouver, WA).

Additionally, 10 WWU student-athletes graduated as part of commencement ceremonies following Fall and Winter quarters.

“This is a really special event to see our student-athletes reach the ultimate goal of graduation,” said WWU Director of Athletics Steve Card. “We have had wonderful success in all of our sports, but to see these students receive their diploma through hard work and dedication is truly what the student-athlete experience is all about.”

The ceremony marks the first time the Carver Academic Facility will be open since renovation work began in August 2015. Only the gymnasium portion of the building will be open only to the graduates and their ticketed guests, along with authorized WWU staff. Once the ceremony is complete, the building will close to the public so work can continue. Carver is expected to be completed in time for the start of fall quarter in late September. More information on the commencement ceremonies can be found on

2016-17 Graduating WWU Student-Athletes:

Participated in Earlier Graduation Ceremonies:


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