University News

Class of 2015 Valedictorian, Erin Stone

March 24, 2015
Author: Olyvia Meyer
Category: Commencement

Erin Stone is named SUU 2105 valedictorian. It takes precise accuracy and dedication to hurtle yourself through the air with just a long pole-vaulting stick and pad to ensure a safe landing. But for Erin Stone, an athlete from Cour d’Alene, Idaho, flying is second nature.

But it’s not just pole-vaulting that Stone has dedicated herself to, in the classroom she continued to score high numbers, ultimately winning the title of valedictorian for Southern Utah University’s Class of 2015.  

Putting her heart and soul into each athletic competition and school project, this biology major maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout college while competing on two collegiate sports teams – gymnastics and track and field.

One may wonder how she did it, balancing practices and homework, and still getting phenomenal grades. Stone attributes her successes to time management, saying, “School always comes first to me. I go to school, I go to practice, and then the first thing I do is homework.  Always.”

Her methods served her well - Stone was invited to interview at every one of the 11 physical therapy schools she applied to and has chosen to continue her studies at Eastern Washington University.

“I’ve wanted to be a physical therapist for a long time,” says Stone, “As an athlete I’ve certainly had my fair share of injuries (torn hip, broken wrist, broken elbow, etc.) and I think that has largely shaped my choice.”

Standing out amongst other applicants while applying for physical therapy schools, Stone showed impressive academic dedication on her applications through her involvement with SUU's Honors Program and will be graduating with University Honors this May. The title of her honors thesis was "Impact of Cultural Immersion Trips on Pre-Health Students at Southern Utah University."

Stone, a self-proclaimed introvert says her time at SUU has helped her to grow, not only intellectually, but also as an individual, “I now feel completely independent and capable – like I can do anything in life.”

Recalling her undergraduate experience, Stone remarked how thankful she was for the encouragement she found from friends, coaches, professors, and family, especially from her mom. “I never felt pressure to be the best,” Stone relayed, “I just knew I was expected to do my best and that has made all the difference.”

When asked what words of advice she has to offer to incoming freshmen, Stone smiled, “I would tell them to just go for it! Decide to be dedicated - whatever your major or passion may be stick with it and you’ll go far.”

No doubt Stone will go far in her own pursuits.

Congratulations, Erin!



Contact Information:
Jessica Young
435-865-8696
jessicayoung2@suu.edu