Future UT graduates honored at 'Senior Lunch'
Feb. 28, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- UT Athletics recently took time to honor graduating student-athletes at the annual Senior Lunch. Academic Services organized the gathering for the nearly 90 student-athletes who will graduate in Spring, Summer or Fall 2012.
This event started four years ago as a small luncheon with a few students and staff members discussing the importance of graduation and reflecting on the journey toward a baccalaureate degree. Over these years, however, it has grown, and Dr. Randa Ryan, senior associate athletics director for student-athlete services, calls it one of the "highlights of the spring semester."
Coaches, administrators, faculty and other UT Athletics staff members were in attendance to laud the future graduates' work.
"What you've accomplished is inspiring - academically, athletically and in life," Men's Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds said. "As you move out into the world, remember that The University of Texas is your original family."
Echoed Women's Athletics Director Chris Plonsky: "Remember that you are Longhorns for life. Thank you for the joy you have brought into our lives. You always have family here."
Julie Amthor, a senior distance runner, was one of a handful of featured senior speakers who addressed the assembled campus crowd. Amthor is an honors biology major and said she will be attending medical school next fall.
"UT Athletics has made me tough," Amthor said. "I trust the work ethic that was instilled in me here."
Men's Basketball senior Alexis Wangmene came to The University of Texas from his native Cameroon and knew little English when he arrived on campus. He said the family atmosphere among his teammates and support staff helped him not to just grow into his new environment but also thrive.
"Here at UT, people helped me through my tough days to grow into a man," Wangmene said.
Each graduate was presented with a special take-home gift -- a Texas Longhorns business card holder. As Dr. David Fowler, chair of the men's athletics council, pointed out, many of these graduating Longhorns are about to turn into career professionals, not professional athletes.
"We have enjoyed having you as students, but don't stop here," Dr. Fowler said. "Keep learning and gaining knowledge."