VU WBB: Women's Basketball Newest Alumni

On Friday morning, Rebecca Silinski, Jence Rhoads, and Hannah Tuomi officially ended their undergraduate college careers as they received their diplomas during Vanderbilt's Commencement ceremonies. In honor of their four years of hard work, Whitney D. shares these photos from their Vanderbilt careers.

It's customary for incoming freshmen on the women's basketball to arrive in Nashville in July for the second semester of summer school. Although the basketball coaches can't work with their new players, the freshmen participate in the strength and conditioning program and join their new teammates in pickup games.

The class of 2011 was no exception. After pickup on one of those summer days, they posed for a photo. (Chanel Chisholm, the fourth member of the class, transferred to Cincinnati following her sophomore season.)

Summer on campus is quiet, but that changes quickly when the fall semester begins. On "Move In Day", the weekend before the first day of classes, all Vanderbilt freshmen, athletes and non-athletes alike, are officially welcomed to campus as they move into their dorms.

Volunteers help the freshmen move into their dorms, but mom and dad carry their share of the load.

Move In Day is highlighted by the Founders Walk, where incoming freshmen and their parents take a ceremonial first walk onto the campus.

Vanderbilt's official welcome to the freshmen continues through the first football game of the season. Freshmen wear their class t-shirts and are invited to run onto the field with the football team.

The life of a basketball player at Vanderbilt has many dimensions. Besides work in the classroom and on the court, the student-athletes volunteer in the community, including at the Buddy Walk sponsored by the Down Syndrome Society of Middle Tennessee.

Year in and year out, the athletes log many hours in the Olympic Weight Room in the McGugin Center.

Between the middle of October and the end of the season in March, many hours are spent in practice at Memorial Gym . . . getting ready for GAME TIME . . .

During their time at Vanderbilt, the basketball locker rooms received a major renovation.

They cut down the nets at the SEC Tournament in Little Rock in 2009.

Each year Vanderbilt participated in the WBCA's "Think Pink!" program to promote breast cancer awareness and research.

Senior Night in 2009 was also Lyme Disease Awareness night, inspired by the struggles of Rebecca's family with the disease throughout her years at Vanderbilt.

Occasionally there were special occasions, like the banquet in 2009 . . .

. . . . and a trip to the Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville to be honored by the state legislature after winning the SEC tournament.

But perhaps the most special of all came on Friday, when the three seniors donned their caps and gowns and walked across the stage to pick up their diplomas and officially join the ranks of Vanderbilt alumni.

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Photos copyright 2007-2011 by Whitney D for

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