Introducing the Thunderbird Graduating Class of 2012

Published: May 02, 2012 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Southern Utah University is excited to join with our 1,746 latest Thunderbird graduates in the 113th annual University Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 4. Individual Convocations for the five academic colleges will follow Friday evening and Saturday morning, and the campus and local communities are invited to join in the celebration of SUU’s Class of 2012.

Following a special Commencement week addition of the naming ceremony for the newly dubbed Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science and Engineering on Thursday evening, SUU’s traditional graduation festivities will begin at Noon on Friday when the 2012 graduates process into the Centrum Arena, where they will hear from keynote speaker David Jordan, chair of the Board of Regents for the Utah System of Higher Education.

SUU President Michael T. Benson as well as the Class of 2012 student speaker, Payden L. Adams, a musical theatre graduate from Cedar Fort, UT, will also address the audience.

And new this year, the University is very excited to begin including the SUU ROTC Oath of Office for this year’s graduates as part of the formal University-wide ceremony.

In addition, President Michael Benson, alongside SUU Provost Bradley J. Cook, will confer three honorary doctorate degrees during the University Commencement. Jordan will receive an honorary degree in public service. Alice Lind Gibson, wife to the late Walter Maxwell Gibson, will receive an honorary degree in education. And longtime friends of the University as well as Cedar City natives Kent and Bessie Dover will together receive an honorary degree in humane letters.

Of the remaining 1,746 degrees to be conferred this spring, 351 will be master’s degrees, 1000 will be bachelor’s degrees and 384 will be associate’s degrees. Eleven special educational certificates will also be granted Friday and Saturday.

All of these degrees will be awarded at college convocation ceremonies to be held Friday evening and Saturday morning, May 5.

Among the graduates, Gwen Knight, a psychology major from Cedar City, UT, is this year’s valedictorian, this year’s top student.

The Department of Psychology also reigns in popularity, topping the top ten most popular majors among the Class of 2012:

1. psychology
2. elementary education
3. biology
4. nursing
5. communication
6. accounting
7. physical education and human development
8. criminal justice
9. management
10. English

This year’s graduates come to SUU from 12 different countries and 37 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia.

The Class of 2012 includes 737 men and 1009 women, with 58 married couples who will celebrate their SUU graduation together.

Students donning caps and gowns will range in age from 17 to 75 years old.

For additional information about all of this year’s graduation festivities, please visit SUU’s online graduation information headquarters,

Contact Information:

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