Largest Graduating Class in UK Athletics History
LEXINGTON, Ky. – A total of 114 current and former University of Kentucky student-athletes – the largest graduating class in school history – are on track to complete academic requirements this week or in the summer term.
The graduates will take part in the University’s Spring Commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday in Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center (see information here). Adding the 21 student-athletes who graduated in December, UK Athletics is expected to have 135 graduates during the 2021-22 school year.
Included in the graduates are 11 Wildcats who are completing their master’s degrees – Davion Mintz from men’s basketball; Luke Fortner, Matt Ruffolo and Quintin Wilson from football; Jacob Cook and Zach Norris from men’s golf; Marissa Bosco from women’s soccer; Lauren Johnson from softball; Myles Anders and Kenroy Williams from men’s track and field; and Molly Leppelmeier from women’s track and field. Fortner will receive master’s degrees in two fields of study, aerospace engineering and business administration.
UK’s graduating class also has excelled in the arenas of competition. While at Kentucky, the graduates have been part of three NCAA Championships, nine conference championships and five conference tournament championships. A total of 17 grads have earned All-America honors while at Kentucky and 25 have gained all-conference recognition.
In the 2021-22 school year, this class has sparked UK Athletics to a current ranking of No. 8 in the nation (among 358 Division I schools) in the NACDA Directors’ Cup all-sports standings. The Wildcats are first among SEC schools in the Directors’ Cup.
“With the variety of issues in college athletics today, education and competitive excellence remain the heartbeat of what we do,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “I am very proud of the 114 graduates who will take the next steps in their lives on the foundation of their time at Kentucky. We continue to emphasize the principle of students giving us four years and we will give them the next 40. In addition to academic achievement, their ability to balance excellence in the competitive arena shows the incredible discipline, intelligence and heart it takes to be a student-athlete at the highest level.”
Wildcat fans will continue to see many of these graduates on their respective fields of play in 2022-23 as numerous student-athletes have remaining eligibility and will return to represent UK while attending graduate school or completing additional undergraduate certifications.
Below is the list of expected graduates:
Daniel Harris IV
Davion Mintz – master’s degree
Luke Fortner – two master’s degrees
Matt Ruffolo – master’s degree
Quintin Wilson – master’s degree
Jacob Cook – master’s degree
Zach Norris – master’s degree
Marissa Bosco – master’s degree
Lauren Johnson – master’s degree
Men’s Swimming and Diving
Women’s Swimming and Diving
Men’s Track and Field/Cross Country
Myles Anders – master’s degree
Kenroy Williams – master’s degree
Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country
Molly Leppelmeier – master’s degree
Graduation marks yet another milestone of academic success for UK student-athletes. Guided by UK Athletics’ Student-Athlete Experience Division, Wildcat student-athletes have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of better than 3.0 in 19 consecutive semesters, with grades for the spring semester set to be finalized next week. In November, UK student-athletes broke the school record for the Federal Graduation Rate and tied the school record for NCAA Graduation Success Rate.