Record Breakers Graduate: Hill, Christmas, Orzo, and more Share the Spring Graduation Stage


On May 10, the University graduated a record 51 student-athletes in one ceremony and included well-known athletes including Shakyla Hill, De’Arius Christmas and Marc Orozco.


      GRAMBLING, LA – May 9, 2019 – Grambling State University’s Class of 2019 includes three of the schools most historic athletes: Shakyla Hill, De’Arius Christmas, and Marc Orozco – who have broken school, conference, and national records during their college sports careers.

“Our athletics programs attract some of the best and brightest students in the country,” said Dr. David Ponton, Director of Athletics and Vice President of Student Affairs. “This year’s graduates are a great example of how the lessons they learn on the field can help drive academic success.”

This Spring on May 10, the University graduated a record 51 student-athletes in one ceremony and included well-known athletes including Shakyla Hill, De’Arius Christmas, and Marc Orozco.

Orozco, a Criminal Justice major from Denton, Texas, has served as a kicker with Grambling State’s football team since 2014. His achievements on campus include:

  • becoming the all-time SWAC and Grambling State record holder in points scored with 349
  • leading the team in scoring with 102 points
  • being named All-SWAC First Team
  • being named anBOXTOROW All-American
  • booting a career-long 48-yard field goal
  • Earning STATS FC All-American status

Christmas, a two-time Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Defensive Player of the Year, has earned more than 30 academic and athletic awards during his college career. The Vicksburg, MS linebacker is best known for the following achievements:

  • leading the team in tackles with 88 during the 2017-18 season
  • named the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year
  • multiple All-SWAC First-Team selections

as a STATS FCS All-American Third Team honoree

  • as a BOXTOROW All-American and SBN Black College All-American

as a National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy Finalist

as a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) All-Academic Team Honors

as Grambling State Student-Athlete of the Year

as a FCS STATS Buck Buchanan Defensive Player of the Year nominee

Hill, most well known for her two history-making quadruple-doubles, has earned praise from ESPN, Lebron James, and many others during her college career. The 5-foot-7 women’s basketball guard from Little Rock, AR’s record includes:

5 College Sports Madness SWAC Player of the Week Awards

3 All-SWAC First-Team Selections 3 SWAC All-Tournament Team Honors

3 BOXTOROW All-American Honors 2 BOXTOROW National Player of the Year Awards

2 SWAC Preseason Player of the Year Selections 2 Louisiana Sports Writer’s Association First-Team All-Louisiana

1 SWAC Player of the Year Award

1 SWAC Defensive Player of the Year Award

1 SWAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Selection

1 SWAC Tournament MVP

1 United States Sports Academy Player of the Month

1 ESPN The Undefeated HBCU Player of the Year

About Grambling State University

Grambling State University, located in Grambling, Louisiana, is a historically Black university founded in 1901. The University has been accredited by 13 accrediting associations and holds accreditations in all programs required by the Louisiana Board of Regents. The 590-acre campus offers 41 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Grambling State University is a member of the University of Louisiana System. For more information visit


About Carma Henry 20904 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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