Celebrating the Class of 2014April 28, 2014
Southern Utah University is proud to celebrate the success of its 1,764 Class of 2014 graduates at SUU’s 115th annual commencement festivities on Friday, May 2.
Friends and family, as well as the broader southern Utah community who have all supported our Thunderbirds this year are welcome to join in the celebration. All ceremonies are unticketed, with general admission seating.
The University Commencement, featuring keynote speaker and former first lady of Massachusetts Ann Romney, will begin at 9 a.m. on May 2 in SUU’s Centrum Arena. Doors for general admission seating will open at 7:30 a.m.
In addition to Romney, who will receive an honorary doctorate degree in public service, Utah’s first poet laureate and SUU emeritus English faculty member, David Lee, and Zions Bank president and chief executive officer as well as statewide philanthropist Scott Anderson will receive 2014 honorary degrees from SUU. Lee will receive a humane letters citation; Anderson will receive a public service nod.
Among this year’s graduates, University Valedictorian Kori Corbridge, from Glendale, Utah, and the Class of 2014 student speaker, Valerie Owens, a creative writing graduate from St. George, Utah, will be individually recognized.
Corbridge and Owens are just two outstanding graduates among the Class of 2014, which includes:
- 349 master’s degree candidates
- 1,036 bachelor’s degree candidates
- 369 associate’s degree candidates
- 10 special educational certificate recipients.
All these degrees will be awarded at college convocation ceremonies to be held throughout the day Friday:
- Noon – Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science & Engineering, Centrum
- 2 p.m. – School of Business, Centrum
- 2 p.m. – College of Performing & Visual Arts, Randall Jones Theatre
- 4:30 p.m. College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Centrum
- 6:30 p.m. – Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education & Human Performance, Centrum
The most popular majors among SUU’s Class of 2014 undergrads include:
- Physical Education & Human Performance
- Elementary Education
- Human Nutrition
- Criminal Justice.
Together, the Class of 2014 has earned an average GPA of 3.4 over an average of 10.6 semesters from enrollment to graduation.
This year’s graduates come to SUU from 19 different countries and 35 states. The University’s resident graduates have come to SUU from 28 of the Utah’s 29 counties.
The Class of 2014 includes 774 men and 989 women, with 48 married couples who will celebrate their SUU graduation together. Students donning caps and gowns will range in age from 17 to 66 years old; the average age for a class of 2014 SUU graduate is 27 years old.
As to the ethnic origins of this year’s graduating class, students have identified themselves as follows:
American Indian/Alaskan Native – 18
Asian – 19
African American – 21
Caucasian – 1,584
Hispanic – 56
Middle Eastern - 2
Pacific Islander – 24
Other – 10
Unspecified – 20
Several faculty and staff members who have positively impacted the campus community in the past year will also be recognized during Commencement.
Highest SUU Employee Recognition:
SUU Board of Trustees Award of Excellence — Paula Alger, curriculum coordinator; Xun Sun, associate professor of music
Top Faculty Awards:
Outstanding Educator — Betsy Bancroft, assistant professor of biology
Outstanding Scholar— Dezhi Wu, associate professor of information systems
Distinguished Educators — Kay Andersen, department chair and associate professor of dance; Elise Leahy, foreign languages and philosophy department chair and associate professor of French; Jean Lopour, professor of physical education
Top Staff Awards:
Distinguished Staff Members — Quinn Mathews, University fire marshal and HVAC controls foreman; James Matthews, network and telecommunications manager
Outstanding Staff Members — Bryce Caine, programmer analyst supervisor; Tammi Miller, communication department administrative assistant
For additional information about all of this year’s graduation festivities, visit suu.edu/graduation.