There is no perfect school for anyone. Whatever college advisor or representative or tutor or whomever says that - and goodness knows I heard it a couple times years back when I was looking at schools - is wrong. But, in the end, every one of us who attends Georgia Tech chooses to do it for their own reasons. It can’t check every box, but, after four or so years, it becomes second nature. The Flats become a part of who you are - it’s the place you work, sleep, play, and struggle. It’s your friends, your family. A place you can call home. Let’s be honest, the work we do at our Institute is famously not easy. It is incredibly hard to be a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket. It is infinitely harder to be one that is also involved with varsity athletics. So, to all the students graduating today, congratulations. You made it.
Paraphrasing past years, but, picking a college isn’t just a decision that affects you for four years. It’s one that sets the tone for the entire experience after it. Georgia Tech prepares students for success in a way few others can dream. We are not defined solely by our athletics, but who crosses that stage or helps others be able to walk across it came here in their own way, for their own unique set of reasons, be they a student, faculty, or fan. On this day, we celebrate these students for their hard work on and off the field, court, course, pool, track, or pool, and we wish them the very best on the journey that is the rest of their lives.
In their time on the Flats, the athletes getting out have been parts of great things. Though there are only 24 graduating today, they have still seen and been a part of some of the finest moments in Tech sports of the past four years. Though some are only around a short time, like Malik Rivera, a graduate transfer from Wofford anchoring Nate Woody’s familiar defense, or Coral Kazaroff, a defensive specialist volleyball player that was a reliable option for Michelle Collier, both of them brilliant in quantitative finance and nuclear engineering, respectively, they still manage to make great impacts on the school and their teams. From the Track and Field/Cross Country programs, two of the best athletes the teams have seen in many years, runner Avery Bartlett and vaunted hurdler Jeanine Williams cross the stage, and thus end a pair of prolific careers on the track. From baseball, five players that were able to see the dawn of what could probably be called the James Ramsey/Danny Borell sub-era of the Danny Hall days will get their degrees and move on from a team that they were able to help guide all the way to a top three seed in the NCAA Tournament this past spring. Last to mention, though certainly not the least, Kodie Comby of the volleyball program has seen perhaps the greatest redemptive story yet, and indeed one that is not yet fully written. From her freshman year as a player that saw decent utilization on a team that was snubbed from the postseason after finishing 24-8, to a sophomore campaign that, despite featuring an upset of top 25 Michigan State, bottomed out below .500, to a leap forward in her junior year, to full-fledged excellence - personal and team - in her senior campaign, but ultimately another snub from the Big Dance, despite powering the team with one of the best hitting percentages in the country, the last four years of Tech volleyball have been quite a rollercoaster. It’s a testament to good player and character development to have four year players with that kind of growth, blossoming into one of the most effective players in the country. That’s what it means to be a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket. To all those mentioned and unmentioned, thank you and congratulations.
Thanks to RamblinWreck.com for the complete list of graduates:
Keyton Gibson - Business Administration
Carter Hall - Business Administration
Paul Kronenfeld - Business Administration
Jake Lee - Business Administration
Robert Winborne - Business Administration
Christian Campbell - Literature, Media and Communication
Brentavious Glanton - Business Administration
Jalen Johnson - Building Construction (MS)
Tyler Merriweather - Building construction (MS)
Malik Rivera - Quantitative and Computational Finance (MS)
Zach Roberts - Building Construction (MS)
Daryl Smith - Business Administration
Piero Chiappina - Physics, Electrical Engineering
Kevin Ward - Mechanical Engineering
Andrew Li - Business Administration
Track and Field/Cross Country
Avery Bartlett - Computational Media
Rebecca Entrekin - Biochemistry
Lionel Jones - Computational Science and Engineering
Eamon McCoy - Music Technology
Michael Reilly - Computer Science
Dasia Smith - Environmental Engineering
Jeanine Williams - Biochemistry
Kodie Comby - Business Administration
Coral Kazaroff - Nuclear Engineering
To all of the graduates, those who are student-athletes and those who are not, we here at From the Rumble Seat wish you the very best wherever your Georgia Tech degree may take you, from professional athletics, to graduate school, to the top of your fields - you will go far. To those moving on from Tech, or varsity athletics after this season, we thank you for your time and dedication to the Institute, as well. We cannot wait to see what you all become. Thank you for being Yellow Jackets.