Penn State to Graduate 36 Lion Athletes

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Thirty-six Penn State student-athletes are scheduled to graduate during Commencement exercises today on the University Park campus at the Bryce Jordan Center, including Jennifer Leatherman, Paul Posluszny, Diane Bruch and Levi Brown.

Among the student-athletes approved to graduate are four members of the field hockey and women's soccer teams, including Chase Bacon (field hockey) and Tiffany Weimer, a three-time first team All-American in soccer and the Big Ten leader in season (32) and career (91) goals.

Jennifer Leatherman, a five-time track and field All-American in throws, also is scheduled to graduate. An outstanding student, she earned first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors last spring. Diana Bruch, an All-American in the javelin, also will earn her degree.

Fourteen members of the football team are scheduled to graduate this weekend, including two-time Bednarik Award winner Paul Posluszny, the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American of the Year in Division I football. Posluszny is graduating in 3 ½ years with a degree in finance.

Among some of the other members of the football team who are approved to graduate are All-American tackle Levi Brown, who will earn his second degree, in psychology, as well as Jay Alford, Kevin Darling, Mark Farris, Darien Hardy, Donnie Johnson, Nolan McCready, Steve Roach and BranDon Snow.

Also scheduled to graduate is former Nittany Lion defensive tackle Rick Bolinsky. He left Penn State during the 2000 spring semester to return home (Mowry, Pa.) to take care of his ill parents and three younger siblings, in addition to the family business. Bolinsky, who would have been a senior on the 2000 football team, also was a member of the wrestling squad during his Penn State career. He was enrolled as a full-time student at the University Park campus this semester.

Among some of the other Penn State student-athletes scheduled to graduate are: Aaron Anspach (wrestling), Chad Buczek (men's gymnastics), Brian Devlin and David Walters (men's soccer), Natalie Jacobs (women's soccer), Jim Leitgeb (baseball) and Dan O'Dell (men's volleyball).

Penn State is consistently at or near the top nationally in the graduation of its student-athletes. The NCAA's 2006 graduation rate report revealed that Penn State's 83 percent graduation rate was best in the nation among Division I-A public institutions for the third time in five years.

The 83 percent federal rate was tied for Penn State's best performance in the 16-year history of the NCAA report, along with the entering classes of 1997-98 and 1989-90. According to the NCAA data, for student-athletes entering the University in 1999-2000, Penn State's 83 percent graduation rate was sixth-highest overall among the nation's 119 Division I-A institutions. The national average was 64 percent.


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