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WKU receiver Lucky Jackson raises the MVP football in celebration after breaking his own record of receptions during the First Responders Bowl.

WKU athletics announced Thursday a total of 53 student-athletes represent the department’s highest cumulative grade point average for a graduating class since 2013. Athletes will have their degrees conferred this spring and summer.

In lieu of in-person commencement this spring, WKU will confer degrees to nearly 2,700 spring 2020 graduates virtually Friday, including 48 student-athletes. Another five student-athletes are set to receive their degrees this summer.

WKU Athletics’ graduating class has a cumulative GPA of 3.29.

Nine of the 53 student-athletes will be receiving their graduate degrees or a graduate certificate, while the others will be earning their bachelor’s degrees or receiving a certificate of completion in a new area.

Among the nine receiving graduate degrees, five will graduate with a GPA of 3.96 or better, including four perfect 4.0s. Seventeen of WKU’s total graduates boast a GPA of 3.70 or higher.

Degrees obtained include management, finance, economics, biology, sport management, criminology, mechanical engineering, physical therapy, education, entrepreneurship, marketing, recreation and sport administration, social work, speech pathology, accounting, biochemistry, interior design, nursing, healthcare administration, and public health among others.

During the weekend of Sept. 18-20, WKU tentatively plans to host commencement celebration activities. The weekend coincides with the annual Parent & Family Weekend. As plans develop, dates and times will be provided.

During the 2019-20 school year, 78 student-athletes will have earned their degrees from WKU – including 25 who graduated in December – with a combined grade-point average of 3.23.

WKU Athletics has also maintained the highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in program history at 85%. Its 64% Federal Graduation Rate is the second-highest in program history, and 12% higher than the university's general student body which is 52%.

Reporter Nick Kieser can be reached at nick.kieser036@topper.wku.edu. Follow Nick on Twitter at @KieserNick.

Nick Kieser is the sports editor of the College Heights Herald. He previously worked as the baseball beat writer and covered general sport assignments. He’s also worked in athletics at Volunteer State Community College.