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U Graduates More Than 7,100 Students


The University of Utah graduated 7,166 students from 75 countries, 48 U.S. states and 27 of Utah’s 29 counties. University President Michael K. Young officiated at the commencement ceremony, held in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

University honorary degrees were presented to A. Scott Anderson for doctor of business, Orrin G. Hatch for doctor of laws, L. Ralph Mecham for doctor of laws, Mickey Ibarra for doctor of humane letters, Carmen B. Pingree for doctor of education, James L. Sorenson for doctor of science and to this year’s commencement speaker, Thomas S. Monson, for doctor of business.

The Rosenblatt Prize, a $40,000 cash award and the most prestigious honor the University bestows on its faculty, was presented to Mary C. Beckerle, professor of biology and executive director of Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.

The University Distinguished Teaching Award recipients for this year were recognized and are: Daniel Adams, associate professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering; Kenneth Golden, professor, Department of Mathematics; Barry Stults, clinical professor, Department of Internal Medicine; and Don Wardell, associate professor, Department of Management.

The Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award recipients are: Chris M. Ireland, professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry; and Scott L. Anderson, professor, Department of Chemistry. The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Paul Florsheim, associate professor, Department of Psychology.

During his commencement remarks, Monson, first counselor to President Gordon B. Hinckley of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, suggested three guideposts to assist students in their journeys through life: “Glance backward, reach outward and press forward,” he said.

“Glance backward. You will recognize that many people have helped you reach this point in your life…Reach outward. Service to others is akin to duty, the fulfillment of which brings true joy…Press forward. We don’t have to keep up with change—we have to keep ahead of it,” Monson advised.

Of today’s 7,166 graduates, 5,306 received bachelor’s degrees; 1,622 master’s; 466 are doctorates; 134 are juris doctors; 97 are doctors of medicine; and 44 are doctors of pharmacy. Of this year’s graduates, 3,830 are men and 3,336 are women. The number of degrees awarded exceeds the number of graduates, as some students received more than one degree.

The youngest bachelor’s degree recipient was 19; the oldest, 68. The average age of bachelor’s degree recipients is 27. The average grade point average for this group is 3.25. The average age of students receiving graduate degrees is 33. The youngest student receiving a graduate degree is 21 and the oldest is 80.

The largest number of undergraduate degrees will be awarded in mass communication, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, human development and family studies, nursing, finance, speech communication and English respectively.

President Young also announced a new initiative to reach out to former U students who have completed most of their coursework but have not earned their bachelor’s degree. This initiative will provide academic advising, offer individualized connections with academic programs and departments, and make available a team of University agencies that can identify financial resources, child care options, and career opportunities to facilitate success.

“Additionally, I have directed the admissions office to waive the re-admission fee for these returning students,” said Young. Information about this new initiative will be on the University’s website in the near future.

Commencement ceremonies for the S.J. Quinney College of Law will be held Friday, May 11, at 10 a.m., in Kingsbury Hall. The School of Medicine will hold commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 19, at 10 a.m., in Kingsbury Hall.


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