SUU Honors Five College Valedictorians

Published: April 20, 2020 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 3 minutes

In recognition of their hard work and dedication, five incredible students have been named Southern Utah University’s valedictorians for 2020. Each student has a unique set of talents and demonstrates outstanding academic ability, placing them as the highest academically ranked individual in their area of study.

University Valedictorian - Colton Fowler

University Valedictorian Colton FowlerFor business management student Colton Fowler, the journey to graduation was a stressful one, but after four years of hard work, Fowler is honored not only to graduate with a 4.0, but to graduate as SUU’s 2020 Valedictorian.

Throughout his time at SUU, Fowler has appeared on the Dean’s List multiple times, was recognized as the Outstanding Junior in Management, and has worked in the Tutoring Center.

“Being named valedictorian was extra validation for all the hard work I put in,” said Fowler. “I’m sure there are many other students that deserve this just as much as I do and I just feel honored that they chose me.”



College of Science and Engineering - Mariah D. Clayson

Mariah Clayson COSE ValedictorianChemistry major Miriah Clayson has always loved to learn new things and take on challenges. This determined attitude defined her college education and led to her being named valedictorian for the College of Science and Engineering.

Clayson advises incoming students and current T-Birds to try to be flexible.

“Getting a degree takes a long time and you may go through different phases of your life during that time,” said Clayson. “Sometimes, it is important that I give all of my energy to my school work and getting ahead in life. However, other times required me to slow down and find more balance in my life.”



College of Education and Human Development - Jessie T. Abbott

Jessie Abbott Education ValedictorianJessie Abbott is thrilled to be representing the College of Education and Human Development as the college’s 2020 Valedictorian. Jessie Abbott is an exercise science major from Mapleton, Utah.

Abbott chose to attend SUU because of the community feel on campus, the hands-on learning experiences, and the size of Cedar City. She’s connected with many students and professors across campus, but especially in the exercise science program.

“One reason I love SUU is because of the quality of professors I have learned from, and the friendships I have been able to form with them,” said Abbott. “SUU feels like my home, it’s truly a family-like community here, and that’s the big reason I’m so sad to leave.”



College of Performing and Visual Arts - Anthony Malachowski

Anthony Malachowski CPVA ValedictorianOriginally from Cedar City, Anthony Malachowski has always loved music. Growing up playing piano, a passion for music drove Malachowski to major in piano performance at SUU and as graduation approaches, earned him a place as the College of Performing and Visual Art’s 2020 Valedictorian.

During his time at SUU, Malachowski has had the opportunity to participate in the SUU Piano Ensemble, Wind Symphony, and Jazz Ensemble. However, his time at SUU hasn’t always been easy.

“My time at SUU has been a struggle,” Malachowski said, “It hasn’t been an easy road by any means, but through hard work, dedication, determination, and discipline, I’ve accomplished more than I could have ever imagined, and it feels incredible to come out on the other end victorious.”


College of Humanities and Social Science - Taylee Ciccone

Taylee Ciccone HSS ValedictorianTaylee Ciccone is thrilled to be named 2020 valedictorian for the College of Humanities of Social Sciences. Ciccone is graduating with dual degrees in psychology and criminal justice.

Because of her time as a student leader on campus, Ciccone has found a new passion and talent for event planning and specifically, making everyone feel welcomed and loved. After graduation, she plans to work in student affairs for higher education.

“I really love fighting for social justice, fighting to fix injustices, and making people feel like they belong and are loved,” said Ciccone. “We all deserve to have the same rights: to feel safe and to feel loved. You are NEVER alone while attending SUU. Your student leaders, advisors, professors, and staff on campus care about you. Don’t be afraid to reach out.”


SUU’s 2020 University Commencement ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2020. Stay up-to-date with the latest commencement information at

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