Southern Utah University’s graduation is coming up on Friday, April 29, and this year there will be a full day of ceremonies to celebrate the graduates and all of their accomplishments.
This graduating class will have 2,309 students. 1,504 students will be graduating with bachelor’s degrees, 601 with master’s degrees and 204 with associates degrees.
Graduating students age from 16–67 years old with an average age of 27. The graduating class has an average GPA of 3.53.
Graduates come from a variety of places with graduates from 39 countries, 42 U.S. states and one U.S. territory.
Information for graduates
The Grad Fair is being held Thursday, April 28, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hunter Alumni Center located next to Old Main. Students unable to attend the Grad Fair can authorize someone to pick up for them using the Regalia Authorization form.
There will be two different medals for students graduating with bachelor’s degrees who have earned Latin honors: Summa Cum Laude for students with a combined GPA of 3.8 or higher and Magna Cum Laude for students with a combined GPA of 3.6-3.79999 which can be picked up at the Grad Fair.
For students receiving medallions who are unable to attend the Grad Fair, they will be picked up by a college representative and distributed during the lineup prior to the main commencement.
For questions regarding medallions, please email Blair Bentley in the Registrar’s Office or call (435) 586-7715.
Graduates should also ensure they have paid all of their fees or else they will not be able to receive their diplomas and transcripts.
The university commencement ceremony will take place in the America First Event Center. No tickets are required for guests, and it will be broadcasted live into overflow areas located in the Sterling R. Church Auditorium, the Sharwan Smith Student Center Theater & Ballroom and in the Dixie L. Leavitt Business Building rooms 120 and 126.
Doors open for the ceremony at 7:30 a.m. and guests should be seated by 8 a.m. The graduation processional starts at 8:30 a.m. while the actual commencement ceremony starts at 9 a.m.
Graduates should meet, dressed in their graduation regalia, on the upper quad at 8 a.m. to participate in the traditional processional that includes walking under the Carter Carillon Bell Tower.Family and friends of graduates are invited to cheer them on as they walk under the Bell Tower by lining the sidewalks from the Bell Tower down to the AFEC. The processional will also be broadcasted in the AFEC.
This formal, university-wide commencement ceremony takes place to confer degrees on the SUU class of 2022. It also includes the switching of tassels and addresses by students as well as this year’s keynote speaker Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the 66th United States Secretary of State.
Secretary Rice was the first African-American woman to serve as the U.S. Secretary of State. She served in that position from 2005–2009. Prior to that position, she served as the first female National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush.
Rice has also had a distinguished career in higher education. She served as Stanford University’s provost from 1993–1999. Rice has served as a Stanford faculty member since 1981 and is currently the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy.
“We are honored to have such a distinguished leader as our 2022 commencement speaker,” said SUU Interim President Mindy Benson. “Secretary Rice has spent her entire career breaking down barriers and reaching the highest level of success in both higher education and in service to our nation. As our 2022 graduates prepare for the next phase of their lives, I know Secretary Rice’s comments will serve as a true inspiration to them.”
Rice was originally supposed to speak at the 2020 commencement but was unable to due to the impact of COVID-19.
The commencement ceremony will be live streamed here.
After the commencement ceremony, there will be a graduation celebration held on the Library Quad.
College degree convocations
College degree convocations will be held throughout the day on April 29 in the AFEC. These ceremonies will be where graduates will receive their diplomas from their respective colleges.
Graduates should arrive one hour prior to the start of their college convocation and meet in the tunnel area located on the northeast side of the AFEC.
Guests are asked to arrive at the convocations 20 minutes before they start.
The convocations will take place in the following order:
- 11:00 a.m. — College of Performing & Visual Arts
- 12:30 p.m. — Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education & Human Development
- 2:00 p.m. — College of Health Sciences, including associate’s of science degrees in equine sciences and livestock farm management
- 3:30 p.m. — Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Sciences, including SUCCESS Academy
- 5:00 p.m. — Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business
- 6:30 p.m. — College of Engineering & Computational Sciences, including associate’s of applied science in aviation, associate’s of applied science degrees CAD/CAM, construction technology and information technology
- 8:00 p.m. — College of Humanities & Social Sciences, including associate’s of science degrees in criminal justice, general studies, legal studies and paralegal studies
The individual college degree convocations will be live streamed through SUTV-9.
More information on the commencement and convocation ceremonies can be found here.
This year, SUU is honoring eight valedictorians.
The university valedictorian is Greyson Chamberlain. Chamberlain is originally from St. George, Utah. He graduated in December 2021 with a 4.0 GPA and a degree in finance.Chamberlain currently works in the leadership development program at Zions Bank and plans to continue a career in corporate banking.
The valedictorian of the College of Performing & Visual Arts is Christa Van Horne. Van Horne is from El Paso, Texas. She is graduating with her degree in ceramics and sculpting. Van Horne has a background in costume construction and her work with textiles and fabrics is what eventually led her to work in ceramics and sculpting. Her work was inspired by the landscape of Utah.
The valedictorian of the Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education & Human Development is Adelina Nielsen. Nielsen is from Ridgecrest, California. She is graduating with a degree in family life and human development. After graduation, Nielsen plans on earning a master’s degree in social work with the end goal of being able to work with elementary students and help them through problems they may be experiencing.
The valedictorian of the College of Health Sciences is Sariah J. Campbell. Campbell is from Pocatello, Idaho. She is graduating with a degree in nursing. After graduation, Campbell plans to work as a registered nurse at a psychiatric facility in Nevada. Her goal is to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner.
The valedictorian of the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Sciences is Jackson Nowatzke. Nowatzke is from Saint George, Utah. He is earning his degree in biology.After graduation, Nowatzke plans to continue his career in medicine.
The valedictorian of the Dixie L. Leavitt School of Business is Kameron Mortezazadeh. Mortezazadeh is from Highland, Utah. He is graduating with his degree in accounting. After graduation, Mortezazadeh plans to move north and work with an accounting firm on their transaction advisory team.
The valedictorian of the College of Engineering & Computational Sciences is Nathan A. Wiggins. Wiggins is from New Harmony, Utah. He is graduating with a degree in mathematical science with an emphasis in actuarial sciences. Wiggins initially contemplated an English or communication degree but realized he enjoyed the statistics associated with sports and used that as the guide for his degree in mathematics.
The valedictorian of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences is Shayla Howe. Howe is from Manti, Utah. She is graduating with a degree in psychology. After graduation, Howe plans to spend some time at home with her children before returning to school to earn her graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
Visit SUU’s graduation website for more information about the 2022 Commencement Ceremony.
Article by: Callie King-Stevens
Photo courtesy of STIL