SUU Graduates Over 2,400 Students During Commencement Ceremony

Published: April 28, 2023 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU commencementSouthern Utah University honored its graduates with the annual commencement ceremony held in the America First Events Center today and a hooding ceremony for master’s degree graduates last night. Overall, more than 2,400 degrees were awarded.

“Few things will be more inspiring and fulfilling in your life and career than working for a purpose and cause that you love and believe in,” said SUU President Mindy Benson during her commencement speech. “Discovering and living your purpose takes real effort; it takes time; it takes trial and error. Don’t give up. If you discover and “live your purpose,” you will find greater motivation, meaning and fulfillment in your life. And you will achieve seemingly impossible feats.”

The all-female lineup of speakers included President Benson, honorary degree recipient Joan Woodbury, SUU National Alumni Council President Caytee Wankier and three graduates. Aspen English, a communication and English double major and College of Humanities and Social Sciences valedictorian from Monticello, UT, Kalli Ostermiller, a political science major from Tremonton, UT, and Sarah J. Penner, a psychology major with a double minor in German and theatre arts from Layton, UT, all represented the Class of 2023.

During the ceremony, Joan Woodbury, a Cedar City native, professor emeritus and founder of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, and Dr. Jeffrey R. Holland, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leader and Utah educator, were both awarded honorary doctorate degrees.

The ceremony also recognized SUU’s 2023 University valediction, Andrew Hatch, for his dedication and perseverance throughout his academic career. Originally from Mesa, Arizona, Hatch graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Among the 2,408 graduates, 810 received master's degrees, 1,807 received bachelor's degrees, and 266 received associate degrees. The graduates represent 27 countries, 47 states, and 28 Utah counties. The average age of the Class of 2023 is 27, with graduates ranging in age from 17 to 73.

This year’s most popular degrees include the master of business administration, master of education, psychology, nursing, general studies, accounting, biology, management, master of accountancy, and communication.

“Congratulations Class of 2023! I hope you will always cherish this day and remember the joy, pride and unbelievable relief you’re feeling,” said President Benson. “You’ve worked hard to get to this day and we’re so proud of you.”

For more information and stats, visit SUU’s Commencement website.

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