Close to 30 Student-Athletes Taking Part in Fall Commencement Ceremonies

University of Tennessee / Credit: UT Athletics

Despite unique and challenging circumstances related to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Vols and Lady Vols have continued to achieve in the classroom and on the field. Tennessee Athletics celebrates its nearly 30 fall graduates who have completed their degree requirements.

The university will host 10 in-person commencement ceremonies Nov. 19-22 at Thompson-Boling Arena for spring, summer and fall 2020 graduates. The socially-distanced ceremonies will have additional health and safety protocols in place so graduates and their families can safely gather to celebrate their momentous accomplishments. More information on the dates and times of all ceremonies and the university’s safety measures are available at

In total, 28 student-athletes will graduate during the fall 2020 ceremonies, which includes a pair earning master’s degrees.

“Throughout the recruiting process, we talk to prospects and their families about the meaning of graduation day,” Associate Provost & Senior Associate Athletic Director Joe Scogin said. “We focus on the significance of a Tennessee education and anchor ourselves in a specific mindset – the question isn’t if you will graduate from Tennessee, the question is when and how many degrees you want to earn when your time at Tennessee is over.

“Walking across the stage this week completes the most important commitment they make as a student-athlete. I am especially proud of the resilience shown by this group during a challenging and difficult time in higher education. It is a joy to see so many student-athletes on this list graduate with eligibility remaining – bringing those initial conversations during the recruiting process full circle.”

Also among this newest collection of graduates is former swimming & diving student manager Jackie Bussard-Bertucci (1988-89), who re-enrolled in the SouthEast Bank Renewing Academic Commitment (RAC) Program to complete her bachelor’s degree in Child & Family Studies and Community Outreach. Bussard-Bertucci is the daughter of University of Tennessee Athletics Hall of Fame men’s swimming & diving head coach Ray Bussard (1968-88), who guided the Vols to the 1978 national championship and eight SEC titles.

The list of degree programs earned by student-athletes this semester is diverse, with Vols and Lady Vols earning diplomas in Advertising, Business Analytics, Chemical Engineering, Environmental and Soil Sciences, Finance, Forestry, Mechanical Engineering, Psychology and many other fields of study.

Football (14)
Jordan Allen — Sociology
Baylen Buchanan — Communication Studies
LaTrell Bumphus — Communication Studies
Matthew Butler — Political Science
Ty Chandler — Recreation & Sport Management
Eric Crosby — Recreation & Sport Management
Kenneth George Jr. — Communication Studies
Brandon Johnson — Communication Studies
Deandre Johnson — Communication Studies
Jahmir Johnson — Communication Studies
Brandon Kennedy — Agricultural Leadership, Education, & Communications*
Austin Pope — Communication Studies
Trey Smith — Recreation & Sport Management
Dawson Stephens — Sociology

Men’s Golf (2)
Brayden Garrison — Business Analytics
Jake Meenhorst — Finance

Rowing (1)
Eleanor Loving — Psychology

Soccer (1)
Salera Jordan — Environmental & Soil Sciences

Softball (1)
Treasuary Poindexter — Recreation & Sport Management

Swimming & Diving (6)
Jackie Bussard-Bertucci — Child & Family Studies, Community Outreach (RAC)
Alec Connolly — Forestry
Marc Hinawi — Chemical Engineering
Gleb Ionichev — Sociology
Meghan Small— Sociology & Psychology
Braga Verhage — Psychology

Track & Field (4)
Adam Johnston — Mechanical Engineering
Alaina Riordan — College Scholars Program
Domonique Turner — Communication Studies
Steele Wasik — Advertising*

* denotes master’s degree program

-UT Athletics

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