May 9, 2021

21 From Swimming & Diving Teams Graduate at Ohio Stadium


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State spring commencement ceremonies returned to Ohio Stadium for the first time in two years Sunday, May 9, and among the 12,345 degrees conferred were 21 to members of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs.

Actually, there were two in-person commencement ceremonies that Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson presided over at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, delivered commencement remarks virtually.

“Your celebration comes after a year that was extraordinary by any measure,” Dimon said. “We’ve been through a global pandemic, a global recession, unprecedented government actions, turbulent elections, and deeply felt social and racial injustice. All of you have been affected by COVID-19 in different ways. Your future is bright, but as you grow older it’s inevitable that you will face tough times and failure – both personally and professionally. We all do. How you deal with failure may be the most important thing in whether you succeed.”

There were 14 graduates from the women’s teams Sunday, including three – Hanna Gresser (biology), Taylor Petrak (marketing) and Freya Rayner (world literature) – who helped Ohio State to its second consecutive Big Ten Conference championship this past season and then competed at and contributed to the program’s highest-ever NCAA Championships finish: seventh.

Paul DeLakis, a biology graduate, was the leader of an Ohio State men’s swimming team that produced the best consecutive finishes at the NCAA championships – ninth in 2019 and seventh in 2021 – in nearly 60 years. He was named All-American nine times at those two championships and he is a two-time swimming scholar All-American.

In addition to the two smaller ceremonies, the university instituted a number of changes to commencement to promote a safe and healthy experience, including digital ticketing and a maximum of two guests to accompany each graduate.

All attendees were required to wear a mask in all areas of campus, indoors and outside and throughout the entire commencement ceremony.

2021 Ohio State Spring Commencement Graduates – M&W Swimming & Diving 

  • Matt Abeysinghe – Sport industry; Dehiwala, Sri Lanka
  • Laura Banks – Biology; Rocky River, Ohio
  • Lexie Barker – Zoology; Larkspur, Colo.
  • Carson Burt – Finance; Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Paul DeLakis – Biology; Eau Claire, Wisc.
  • Kathrin Demler – Psychology; Gelsenkirchen, Germany
  • Kendyl Ferrara – Communication; Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Nicole Fye – Microbiology; Ashburn, Va.
  • Brooke Glesenkamp – Health sciences; Delaware, Ohio
  • Hanna Gresser – Biology; Akron, Ohio
  • Justin Hopkins – Chemical engineering; Findlay, Ohio
  • Natalia Jaspeado – Food science and technology; Mexico City, Mexico
  • Marianne Kahmann – Geography information science; Dayton, Ohio
  • Grace Kowal – Accounting; Merchantville, N.J.
  • Molly Kowal – Accounting; Merchantville, N.J.
  • Evan McFadden – Aerospace engineering; Oreland, Pa.
  • Taylor Petrak – Marketing; Ellwood City, Pa.
  • Freya Rayner – World literatures; Sunderland, United Kingdom
  • Jacob Siler – Speech and hearing science; Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Evan Stapp – Sport industry; Tipp City, Ohio
  • Lara Tarvit – Human resources; Melbourne, Australia