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Cougars & Mustangs

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Graduation day is a monumental milestone most people will remember for the rest of their lives. But in the case of Cal Poly students, graduation day left many wondering exactly WTF happened?

The Class of 2011 was sent off in style—better yet in a blur. Friends, family, and many of those associated with this year’s graduates bellied up to local bars as early as 6 a.m. This early morning, pre-graduation ceremony binge-boozing session has become a San Luis Obispo tradition throughout the years.

“It’s one of the busiest shifts of the year; it rivals Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day,” said one downtown SLO bartender who requested his name not be used for fear of a potential boss backlash. “It was max capacity at 6:30 a.m., and people were already blacked out by 8 [a.m.].”

Transitioning from alcohol to athletics: A pair of Mustang basketball players earned some wrap-up honors.

Shawn Lewis, a senior guard on the men’s basketball team, and women’s basketball senior guard Rachel Clancy were honored as Cal Poly’s 2010-11 Athletes of the Year.

Lewis was named All-Big West first team after finishing seventh in points (15.2) and fifth in steals (1.5) and 15th in rebounds (5.5) per contest. A three-year starter for the Mustangs, Lewis retired as the seventh-leading scorer in program history with 1,265 career points.

Clancy was named Big West Conference women’s basketball player of the year as she led the conference with 16.9 points and 2.8 three-pointers made per game while placing second in three-point percentage (41.7). The Ireland native became Cal Poly’s all-time leader in free throw percentage. Clancy also led the Mustangs to their first share of the Big West Conference regular-season championship and a berth in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

This is some expensive cheese! Cal Poly’s Dairy Science Department will receive $5 million from Denver-based Leprino Foods Company. The pledge will be paid over the next two years and will support an endowed faculty position, cover costs to remodel dairy science teaching laboratories, and provide initial start-up costs for the new Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Foods degree program, which is the first of its kind in the United States.

With that type of money, don’t even think about bringing up lactose intolerance.

Despite summer SLO Town’s demographic change from students to tourists, there are still several entertaining endeavors taking place on the Cal Poly campus this summer.

A quartet of distinguished poets will headline the annual reading series at Cal Poly on June 21 and 22. Cal Poly alumna, poet, and singer Ephraim Sommers and Nebraska poet Jim Reese will read their original poetry June 21.

Intern Kai Beech compiles this weekly column. Send items for consideration to cougarsandmustangs@newtimesslo.com.

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