Chidester, Hillmon to Speak at Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration
4/25/2022 2:30:00 PM
// Kurt Svoboda
• Archived Video Stream of 2022 Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration (YouTube)
• Official Photos
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan graduate Amanda Chidester will be the keynote speaker for the University of Michigan Athletic Department’s Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration on Friday (April 29) at 8 p.m. inside Crisler Center. Open to student-athletes families and special guests, it will also be live-streamed for free on the Michigan Athletics YouTube Page. Nearly 200 graduating student-athletes are expected to attend.
A 2013 Michigan graduate, Chidester (softball) was a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and All-American at Michigan and earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2012. The ultimate utility player, she saw significant playing time as a catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman and outfielder. She finished her career ranked second in school history in runs batted in, second in grand slams, fourth in slugging percentage, fifth in home runs, ninth in hits, and 10th in runs scored.
Last summer, Chidester captured Olympic silver for the United States at the Tokyo Games, becoming the first player in Michigan softball history to claim an Olympic medal. She played with the USA Softball Women’s National Team for the better part of nine years, also winning a gold medal and two silvers at the WBSC Women’s World Championship. In 2019, she was the National Pro Fastpitch Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and home run leader.
Student-athlete Naz Hillmon (women’s basketball) will also address her fellow graduating seniors. Hillmon, a communications and media major, is the first All-American in program history and the only Michigan player to reach 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds throughout her career. Additional honors include being a four-time All-Big Ten selection, three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, and the 2021 Big Ten Player of the Year. After helping to lead Michigan to its first-ever Elite Eight, Hillmon was selected by the Atlanta Dream with the 15th pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft, becoming the highest drafted player in program history.
The event will also feature Warde Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. In addition, Ed Kengerski, reporter and host of University of Michigan Sports Television, will serve as the emcee for Friday’s ceremony.
7:00 p.m. — Doors Open (Northeast Entrance of Crisler Center)
8:00 p.m. — Program Begins
9:30 p.m. — Post-Event Reception in Hall of Honor (Concourse Area)
*Free admission and parking (Crisler lots) for families and guests.