For the second consecutive semester, the Texas Southern University Athletic Department made academic history as a pair of student-athletes were named Valedictorian and Salutatorian entering the 2023 Winter Commencement ceremony in December.
For the Fall 2023 semester, softball’s Catherine Hernandez was named the TSU Baccalaureate Degree Class Valedictorian while teammate Jazmine Gendorf earned Salutatorian honors based on her work up to the Summer of 2023.
Hernandez is a native of Port Lavaca, Texas and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Health. She holds a 3.89 GPA and has been with the softball program as a pitcher since 2021 and a SWAC Commissioner Honor Roll honoree.
Gendorf hails from Waco, Texas and will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science after finishing with a GPA of 3.61. She was a four-year letterwinner as a pitcher and has been with the program since 2020. Gendorf is a two-time All-SWAC honoree on the mound and was named the 2023 SWAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year in addition to earning a spot on the SWAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
This makes the second consecutive graduation ceremony that TSU student-athletes will be honored in both roles as Nora Rodriguez and Devansh Chadha were named the Spring 2023 Baccalaureate Degree Class Valedictorian and Salutatorian. In addition, this also marks the fifth time in six years that a student-athlete or member of the TSU Ocean of Soul Marching Band has captured those honors as former TSU Ocean of Soul band member Jennifer Guzman was the Fall 2022 Valedictorian while men’s basketball former student-athlete Divonte Lumpkin and former women’s basketball student-athlete Camille Mills earned Salutatorian honors in 2019 and 2017, respectively.
Once again, TSU Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Kevin Granger is ecstatic about making academic history once again.
“Words can’t express how elated I am about Catherine and Jazmine’s success in the classroom as student-athletes,” said Dr. Granger. “Both student-athletes have dedicated long hours both on and off the diamond and have continued the tradition of academic excellence that has been set before them in the department. I also have to thank the Texas Southern faculty and our Athletics Academic Enhancement staff for their tireless work over the course of both Catherine and Jazmine’s careers along with head softball coach Raven Rodriguez for creating an environment that has produced three consecutive student-athletes with the highest academic achievements of their respective classes.”
Both student-athletes are scheduled to graduate on Saturday, Dec. 16 inside the H&PE Arena on the TSU campus.