Senior Track Athlete Neeper Earns USC Class of 2006 Salutatorian Honors

May 8, 2006

Senior track and field long-distance runner and cross country team captain Kate Neeper has earned the distinction of being a salutatorian for the USC Class of 2006 at graduation ceremonies on Friday, May 12.

This year's commencement will mark the culmination of USC's celebration of the 125th anniversary of its founding in 1880. The commencement speaker will be Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa.

Neeper, who will be running the 10000m race for the Trojans this weekend at the Pac-10 Championships, is double-majoring in international relations and Spanish and has a grade point average of 3.98. She joins biomedical/electrical engineering major Aaron Wong as class salutatorian, given to the second-highest student of the graduating class.

Neeper holds the USC freshman record in the 5000m meters with a time of 17:55 set in 2003.

She is a USC Trustee Scholar, a member of the Dean's List and a Pac-10 All-Academic first team performer. In her 'spare time,' she was a resident adviser in the USC housing system for three years, serving as senior resident adviser for Marks Tower during her senior year.

The 2002 graduate of Chaparral High in Parker, Colo. also was a recipient on April 27 of a Tommy Athletic Award for the highest female athlete GPA at USC. It was presented at the first annual Tommy Athletic Award Ceremonies, honoring the outstanding achievements of Trojan student-athletes in the classroom as well as on the playing fields.

Immediately after graduation, Neeper is heading to Ecuador for an internship with the U.S. State Department. In the fall, she will begin graduate work in international affairs at George Washington University, with an eventual goal to work in Latin American foreign policy, with a focus on Mexico or Cuba.

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