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Universities prepare for commencement exercises

By Barbara Christiansen daily Herald - | Apr 22, 2014
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BYU graduates cheer as they make their way into the Marriott Center for the BYU commencement ceremony on campus in Provo on April 25, 2013.

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UVU graduates react as their image is projected onto a large projection screen at the beginning of the UVU Commencement Ceremony at the UCCU Center on April 29, 2011.

Ten thousand students will take a short walk across a stage, and begin a longer walk into their future, as Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University hold commencement exercises in the next eight days. 

BYU’s commencement is at 4 p.m. Thursday. UVU’s is at 6:30 p.m. May 1.

Each university will have individual college convocations the day following their commencement exercises.

BYU anticipates awarding 5,800 degrees — 4,928 bachelor’s, 690 master’s and 183 doctorates. Fifty-five percent of the graduates are males; just less than 45 percent are female. The oldest person receiving a bachelor’s degree is 68. The graduates come from 49 states, six territories and 62 foreign countries.

Nearly one-fifth of the graduates are in the family, home and social sciences fields. Next, with 19.24 percent, is life sciences. The Marriott School of Management has 812, or 16.48 percent of the graduates. Other top fields are fine arts and communications, humanities, physical and mathematical sciences, David O. McKay school of education, nursing, and international and area studies.

“This is a pivotal day for our students who will be graduating with their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees,” said Carri Jenkins, assistant to the president for university communications. “It is also a pivotal day for BYU as we say goodbye to President and Sister Samuelson, who have given extraordinary leadership to BYU for 11 years, and welcome President and Sister Worthen.”

UVU will have its 73rd commencement  in the university’s UCCU Center. It includes the school’s largest graduating class ever, with 5,258 students receiving degrees ranging from certificates of completion to master’s degrees. There are 91 certificates, 2,377 associate degrees, 2,994 bachelor’s degrees and 47 master’s. 

Nearly 5,000 of the graduates are from Utah and 79 are from foreign countries. The youngest graduate is 16 and the oldest is 73.

The 10 most popular majors at UVU are university studies, behavioral science, business management, aviation science, pre-professional, elementary education, integrated studies, nursing, accounting and communication.

Each university will have a keynote speaker at its commencement. BYU’s is Elder Craig A. Cardon of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The exercises will be conducted by BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson. He and Elder Cardon will be joined on the stand by members of the BYU administration and other church leaders.

Megan Hirschi, a native of Milton, Ga., and an honors graduate who majored in biochemistry and minored in music, will be the student speaker.

UVU will feature best-selling author, youth advocate and Army combat veteran Wes Moore. He is the author of the New York Times best-seller, “The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates.” He is the executive producer and host of the PBS series, “Coming Back with Wes Moore.” His remarks are titled “The Value of Your Education.”

“We are honored that Wes Moore will be sharing his passion about education with our graduates,” UVU President Matthew S. Holland said. “As a scholar, military and business leader, and now, national youth advocate, Wes brings valuable insights about the importance of mentors’ vital roles in our communities. Our students will be fortunate to hear his inspiring words.”

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