UMBC Athletics Celebrates Class of 2011

Danielle Cruz (swimming & diving), Michael Christmas (cross country/track & field) and Gaby Johnston (swimming & diving)

Alexandria Volkening, a member of the UMBC dance team, was the valedictorian of the Class of 2011

BALTIMORE—On Monday, May 23, 2011, UMBC celebrated its 56th commencement exercises. Among the more than 1,600 undergraduates receiving their diplomas at the First Mariner Arena that afternoon were 77 student-athletes who represented the school with class and dignity for the past four or five years.


The Class of 2011 is a very accomplished group, both on and off the court. Among those who graduated were:

  • 28 America East All-Conference honorees
  • Six America East All-Academic squad members
  • Nine school record holders
  • Eight America East champions
  • The Class of 2011 Valedictorian – Alexandria Volkening(dance team)
  • One Capital One Academic All-American – Keilan Freeman (swimming & diving) – and two Academic All-District honorees – Michelle Kurowski (women’s basketball) and Sara Parkinson (cross country/track & field)
  • The 2011 America East Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete – Michelle Kurowski
  • The 2011 MACDA Division I Post-Graduate Scholarship recipient – Keilan Freeman (swimming & diving)
  • The Male Coaches’ Award recipient at the 2011 America East Swimming and Diving Championship – Brad Reitz
  • The Most Outstanding Male Rookie of the 2008 AmericaEast Swimming and Diving Championship – Brad Reitz
  • The Most Outstanding Male Rookie of the 2007 AmericaEast Outdoor Track and Field Championship – Keith Brown

In addition, 12 student-athletes graduated with honors, including eight cum laude, three magna cum laude and one summa cum laude. A total of 53 have been recognized on the America East Academic Honor Roll, with 29 earning Commissioner’s Honor Roll status for earning a 3.5 GPA or higher during their competition season.


Three former Retrievers earned their master’s degrees – Geoff Bennett (track & field; information systems), Daniele Surkovich (swimming & diving; teaching) and Zach Vonder Haar (swimming & diving; chemical and biochemical engineering).


Several graduating student-athletes were also honored during UMBC’s Student Recognition Week May 1-8, including:

  • Keilan FreemanSwimming & Diving – Outstanding Senior in Mechanical Engineering
  • Sara ParkinsonCross Country/Track & Field – Outstanding Senior in Geography and Environmental Systems
  • Natalie RauWomen’s Lacrosse – Community Choice Leader of the Year

Two student-athletes – cross country/track and field’s Michael Christmas and swimming and diving’s Keilan Freeman – are members of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society, while Freeman and teammate Phillip Novotny are both members of the engineering honors society, Tau Beta Pi. In addition, 13 graduating Retrievers are members of the National College Athlete Honor Society, which recognizes those students who receive a varsity letter while maintaining a 3.4 or higher cumulative GPA throughout their junior and/or senior years.


In addition, 21 Retriever student-athletes graduated in December 2010, bringing the total for the 2010-11 academic year to 98.