Dec. 13, 2008
Seven football student-athletes were among the participants in the 189th Commencement of the University of Cincinnati, Saturday at Fifth Third Arena.
Offensive lineman Trevor Canfield (Cincinnati, Ohio/Western Hills), offensive lineman Khalil El-Amin (Cincinnati, Ohio/Purcell Marian), fullback Delbert Ferguson (Youngstown, Ohio/Warren Harding), defensive tackle Adam Hoppel (Lisbon, Ohio/Beaver Local), punter Kevin Huber (Cincinnati, Ohio/McNicholas), linebacker Ryan Manalac (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington), and DeAngelo Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Independence) received their degrees at the graduation ceremony.
Former track and field student-athlete and UC Award for Excellence recipient Mary Wineberg, a 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 4x400-meter relay, delivered the Commencement address. She remarked on the transformation of the campus since she graduated in 2002, and said that at that time, UC was often known to stand for "under construction."
"I want you all to envision your lives and professions five years from now and really push yourselves to be the best that you can be," Wineberg said. "Set your goals! No one, including myself, would have ever thought I would be an Olympic gold medalist. For four-straight years after graduating from college, I wasn't even seen as an elite athlete. Imagine if I would have quit.
"Graduates, you have the backbone in place, but now just trust in your education and go into the real world and know that you can succeed," she said.
As graduates departed Fifth Third Arena, they were tossed dozens of beach balls to celebrate UC's trip to the Orange Bowl.
The Bearcats (11-2) will face No. 21/19 Virginia Tech in the 75th FedEx Orange Bowl at Dolphin Stadium on Jan. 1. The game is scheduled to be televised nationally on FOX. Tickets are available by calling 1-877 CATS-TIX or visiting CATSTIX.com.