June 8, 2018
CHICAGO - DePaul Blue Demon graduating student-athletes gathered at the annual graduation luncheon hosted by Director of Athletics Jean Lenti Ponsetto Friday in the Sullivan Athletic Center as a kickoff to DePaul University's Commencement Weekend.
The Blue Demons were resplendent in their bright red graduation stoles. They are the sixth class of DePaul student-athletes to participate in the university's graduation ceremony wearing the sharp-looking red sash with the university insignia on one side and the athletic department insignia on the other.
They will also forever hold the singular distinction of being the first class of DePaul student-athletes to graduate from Wintrust Arena, the brand-new home of Blue Demon basketball.
This illustrious class of seniors capped off a terrific four-year run by leading DePaul teams to 20 BIG EAST Conference titles and 47 major conference awards.
Leading the way in 2017-18 were the women's basketball team capturing the regular-season and tournament crowns last winter while softball duplicated that difficult feat last month.
Excelling on the field and in the classroom, soccer standout and track and field athlete Elizabeth Endy was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team while softball designated player Morgan Greenwood was selected Google Cloud Academic All-America Third Team.
Women's track completed a historic season finishing second at the BIG EAST Track and Field Outdoor Championships---the best performance in program history.
The Blue Demons raised the bar to an unprecedented height behind a record six championships from Alexia Brooks (100-meter hurdles), Jade Gates (hammer throw), Caroline Muller (high jump), Emily Eller (shot put) plus the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay teams.
Men's track star Brian Mada qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the triple jump while Mada, Gates (javelin) and Brooks (100m hurdles) competed in the NCAA West Preliminaries.
Men's tennis earned the No. 1 seed at the BIG EAST Championship for the second year in a row and advanced to the title match.
Women's tennis advanced to its fourth BIG EAST Championship title match in the last five years as coach Mark Ardizzone's program overcame a series of injuries that had the team down to four healthy players at one point.
Coach Doug Bruno's Blue Demons made their 16th consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament and reached the second round for the fifth-straight year. They led the nation in three-point field goals per game and were No. 2 in the country in three-point field goals and attempts. They set a program record converting 422 from behind the arc.
A resounding 98-63 triumph over Marquette provided their third BIG EAST tournament title in the last five years, and they have won the league's regular-season crown five times in a row.
Head coach Eugene Lenti, Lindsey Platt, Lynsey Ciezki and Morgan Maize were honored as the BIG EAST Softball Coaching Staff of the Year after guiding their team to 15-3 conference record. Freshman Pat Moore was named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year and Kate Polucha BIG EAST Freshman of the Year. Lenti's program made its 20th appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
These outstanding student-athletes took photos in their caps and gowns while officially joining DePaul's Athletic Alumni D-Club. Ponsetto expressed her thanks for their dedication and sacrifice the last four years and for bringing such honor and distinction to the university.
DePaul officially begins its commencement activities Friday with a Baccalaureate Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Church.
The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and the School For New Learning will be the first to conduct their commencement ceremony at Wintrust Arena beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Later that day at 1:30 p.m., the College of Science and Health along with the College of Education will formally graduate from DePaul. At 6:30 p.m., the College of Communication and the College of Computing and Digital Media will take center stage at the new arena.
On Sunday, the School of Music and The Theatre School kick off their commencement at 9:30 a.m. at Wintrust Arena. Closing out graduation weekend will be the Driehaus College of Business and Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at 2 p.m.