Eleven Huskers will earn their degrees on Saturday, August 11 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Photo by University Communications

Eleven Huskers Earn Degrees

By NU Athletic Communications

Eleven former Husker student-athletes across all sports will earn their undergraduate or graduate degrees from the University of Nebraska during commencement exercises at Pinnacle Bank Arena this Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Four student-athletes from the Nebraska football program will earn their degrees, while seven other Husker sports will be represented on stage. The 11 graduates came to Lincoln from six states, including three Nebraska natives, and two foreign countries.

Thomas Connely (Kearney, Neb.), Boaz Joseph (Weston, Fla.) and Keyan Williams (New Orleans, La.) will receive their degrees after completing their Husker careers last fall. Connely graduates with a degree in business administration after earning one letter as a Husker linebacker from 2014 to 2017 and forgoing his final season of eligibility to enter medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Joseph will earn his degree in ethnic studies after appearing in 29 games as a defensive back and special teams performer over the last four years. Williams battled injuries in his lone season of eligibility with the Huskers in 2017, appearing in two games and catching one pass for 19 yards against Iowa. He will receive his degree in criminology and criminal justice.

The final football graduate is Ciante Evans (Arlington, Texas), who was a four-year letterwinner for Nebraska from 2010 to 2013. Evans started 33 games in his career, totaling 143 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, 19 breakups and five interceptions. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior captain in 2013, when he set Nebraska defensive back season records for TFLs (11) and sacks (3.0) and a position game record with five tackles for loss against Northwestern. Evans was also an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection as a junior, and he is in his fourth season as a member of the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League, where he has been an all-star selection each of the past two years. Evans will receive his degree in business administration.

Both of Nebraska’s gymnastics programs produced a 2018 August graduate. Abbie Epperson (Allen, Texas) competed for the Nebraska women the past two seasons, helping the Huskers to a Big Ten regular-season championship in 2017 before earning first-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior in 2018, when Nebraska finished sixth at the NCAA Championships. Epperson will earn her degree in criminology and criminal justice. On the men’s side, Daniel Leal (Cali, Colombia) will receive his degree in economics/marketing after wrapping up his career last winter, when he helped the Huskers to a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the program’s highest finish since 1999.

Colton McCrystal (Sergeant Bluff, Iowa) will earn his degree in psychology after he qualified for the NCAA Wrestling Championships in both 2017 and 2018, aiding Nebraska’s top-10 national finishes both seasons. Sprinter and hurdler Kristen Dowell (Edwardsville, Ill.) will pick up her degree in hospitality, restaurant and tourism management after being a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection for the women’s track and field team. Matt Warren (Omaha, Neb.) will earn his master’s degree in applied science after compiling a 3-2 record with 24 strikeouts over eight appearances in his lone season with the Nebraska baseball team in 2018.

Rounding out the August graduates are Taylor Kadavy (York, Neb.), a two-year member of the Husker softball team, and Vasileois Stavropoulos, a three-year men’s tennis player. Kadavy will receive her degree in nutrition science, while Stavropoulos graduates with a degree in economics/global studies/political science.

Nebraska continues to feature one of the highest graduation rates in the nation, while leading the nation in the number of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (333) and NCAA Today’s Top Ten Award winners (17) across all sports.

August 2018 Nebraska Graduates

 Thomas Connely  Football  Kearney, Neb.  Business Administration
 Kristen Dowell  Women's Track & Field  Edwardsville, Ill.

 Hospitality, Restaurant &
 Tourism Management

 Abbie Epperson  Women's Gymnastics  Allen, Texas  Criminology & Criminal Justice
 Ciante Evans  Football  Arlington, Texas  Business Administration
 Boaz Joseph  Football  Weston, Fla.  Ethnic Studies
 Taylor Kadavy  Softball  York, Neb.  Nutrition Science
 Daniel Leal  Men's Gymnastics  Cali, Colombia  Economics/Marketing
 Colton McCrystal  Wrestling  Sergeant Bluff, Iowa  Psychology
 Vasileios Stavropoulos  Men's Tennis  Athens, Greece  Economics/Global Studies/
 Political Science
 Matt Warren  Baseball  Omaha, Neb.  Master of Applied Science
 Keyan Williams  Football  New Orleans, La.  Criminology & Criminal Justice


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