TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida A&M University’s new VP/Director of Athletics, Kortne Gosha, announced on Friday that the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will hold a virtual senior student-athlete graduation celebration on Friday, May 1.
“It was very important that we specifically honored our senior student-athletes for their service and dedication, to graduate but compete at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics,” Gosha said. “Our kids have been through a lot and obviously for some of them the abrupt ending due to COVID-19, was not the way we all imagined in their final chapters of athletics at FAMU. I am so proud to serve these young men and women and very proud to celebrate their accomplishments and continue the rich traditions as a Rattler. We wish them nothing but the best, as they transition into their next chapters of life.”
Florida A&M is finalizing plans for the time as the platforms for the graduation will be via social media on Facebook (FAMUAth) and Instagram (Famuathletics).
Additional quotes from senior student-athletes
I am very excited about the possibility of having a virtual graduation celebration to honor earning my degree! As the first in my family to earn a college diploma, my mom and family would be especially excited to get to share in this moment with me!
Seyjuan Lawrence (Baseball)
I like the idea of FAMU Athletics recognizing the graduating student-athletes and am sure my fellow seniors would agree. Although the season and semester did not go the way we imagined, this virtual celebration is a thoughtful way to still feel appreciated. It’s also a great way to stay engaged with all of the athletics personnel during this time.
Alelee Figueroa (Track & Field)
Additional quotes from members of the athletic staff
This would give our senior student-athletes a sense of accomplishment and closure, as well as, give the parents and family members of our students an event to look forward to and an occasion to celebrate!
Jamey Shouppe – Head Baseball Coach
In a time that so much has been taken away from the student-athletes, this is a small thing we cannot give back to them. Even though this might not be the graduation ceremony that they envisioned, I do appreciate the fact that our athletics department decided to honor our senior class.
Nadia Pompey-Alexander – Head Women’s Track & Field Coach
I am excited about being a part of a University and a department that cares about the WHOLE person and not just the person wearing the jersey. I’m proud to be a Rattler and can’t imagine why anyone would NOT want to be a part of this FAMILY and represent Rattler Nation.
Keith McCluney – Deputy Director of Athletics/Chief of Staff
In 2020 – there have been a whirlwind of events happening in the world. As we navigate our new landscape of college athletics – we continue to strive to bring some normalcy to the lives of our student-athletes. Albeit not in a traditional manner – I am so thrilled that our graduates will still be recognized for such an accomplishment while facing the world’s challenges on a global platform. I want to wish all our graduates a happy, healthy and prosperous future! Always remember as a Rattler – strike, strike and strike again – especially through adversity!!!
Karai Lockley – Senior Associate Athletic Director for Business and Finance/SWA
With everything that’s going on, it’s a great opportunity to show our student-athletes that they are still in our hearts. College graduation is a milestone in everyone’s life that must be celebrated, and it is important to let our student-athletes know how much we appreciate them. And with all that’s going on, we will celebrate them from afar.
Michelle Harper – Associate Athletic Director for Academic Advisement, Student-Athlete Welfare and Competitive Excellence
I’m happy that we are able to provide our graduating student-athletes an opportunity to be recognized for such a great accomplishment in front of their family, friends, coaches, teammates and the FAMU community virtually. This is an exciting moment for everyone, especially our student-athletes who remain committed to their academic and athletic endeavors despite the challenges they are facing as a result of COVID-19. We want our student-athletes to know that the athletic department stands with them and are committed to their success and this is a great display of that.
Kentrell Kearney – Associate AD/Compliance and Diversity
It’s an honor to be able to put an event like this on. Our student-athletes deserve this and so do their loved ones. We understand that we must honor them the best way that we can and plan to celebrate them as the Rattler Family should. This will be a first – one that Rattler Nation will remember.
Ronald Reeves – Associate AD/Revenue Generation
A virtual graduation celebration is a great way to show our student-athletes that their big day does matter! It’s unfortunate the circumstances that we are currently under, but we need to still let them know that we are ready to celebrate one of their major accomplishments in the classroom and on the competition surface. Now is the time to really show how much their hard work and dedication has meant to our university and the department by showing our gratitude by still celebrating them.
Carrie Tollison – Athletic Academic Advisor
Courtesy: FAMU Athletics