Accounting Major Named School of Business Valedictorian

Published: April 08, 2021 | Author: Lyndsey Nelson | Read Time: 2 minutes

Valedictorian Clayton GillinsGrowing up, Clayton Gillins has always enjoyed being a part of a team. Now, as he graduates Southern Utah University with a 4.0 GPA, Gillins is proud that his passion for teamwork has pushed him to the forefront as the 2021 School of Business valedictorian.

Originally from Minersville, Utah, Gillins was drawn to SUU by the small class sizes and personal relationships students were able to form with professors.

"Clayton is an outstanding student," said Dr. Melinda Ford, assistant professor of accounting at SUU. "But even more importantly, he is an incredible person - with ambition, diligence, curiosity, kindness, and an ability to connect with others. I sincerely hope he sees the value in himself that the rest of us do. He’s got some great things ahead of him.

During his time at SUU, Gillins served as a council member of the Professional Accountancy Club (PAC), vice president of Beta Gamma Sigma, campus ambassador for the UACPA and Becker, as well as participating in a national finance case study competition in New York City where Gillin’s team placed first place overall. During his junior year, Gillins was named SUU’s Most Outstanding Junior in Accounting.

Gillins also had the opportunity to participate in an internship with the Leavitt Group at the encouragement of SUU faculty and professors.

“SUU does a great job at pushing students to get experience through internships which I think is a great compliment to receiving an education,” Gillins said.

Gillins expressed gratitude for the professors and family members who helped him to succeed.

“The awesome thing about SUU is that they do such a great job of finding the best professors and faculty that provided meaningful and engaging activities that helped me see what my future could hold,” Gillins explained, “Professor Melinda Ford had a big impact on me because she helped persuade me to stick with accounting and I am so glad I did.”

As Gillins graduates, he reminds prospective and current students to enjoy their time at SUU.

“It is great to be diligent about your schooling and I believe that hard work and dedication translate to getting the most out of your education. However, remember, there is no time like the present and soak in all the fun events and activities they have to offer. It is okay to step away from homework and enjoy yourself.”

After graduating, Gillins will participate in an internship with EY to begin his journey as he continues to learn and grow as an accountant. He would like to thank his father for serving as a role model to him during his time at SUU and his wife for her support and help.

Learn more about the 2021 valedictorians or Southern Utah University's 2021 Commencement Ceremonies

Tags: School of Business Accounting Graduation

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