USU Southwest celebrates 2019 graduating class

Shelly Luttes addressed the challenges of obtaining a degree during the Utah State University (USU) Southwest commencement held April 18. (Photo courtesy of USU)

BEAVER — Utah State University (USU) Southwest held its commencement ceremony on April 18, 2019. A total of 73 students received diplomas for associate, bachelors, masters and a doctorate degree. There was a wide variety of degrees awarded, including agribusiness, communicative disorders and deaf education, economics, and sociology.

“The vast majority of these students are raising families, working full time, and volunteers in their communities,” said Nancy Glomb, USU Southwest associate vice president.

“Simply earning a degree is a lot of work, and this graduating class was able to find a way to do it while balancing the rest of their responsibilities. Despite their unique experiences,” she said, “they all have one thing in common: a never-give-up attitude.”

The ceremony kicked off with the processional and then the presentation of colors by the Beaver National Guard. Rachel McMaster, a USU Southwest student who earned her associate degree, performed the national anthem. Glomb then welcomed the graduates and their families.

Student speaker Shelly Luttes addressed many of the challenges this graduating class had to overcome to make it to the commencement stage, “…Financial troubles, health problems, parenting hurdles, time constraints, transportation issues, double-booked responsibilities, late nights, extreme fatigue, feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, and possibly even hopeless.”

She explained that each student had to confront their problems and conquer them. “We need to take a moment to allow ourselves the joyful satisfaction that we have done something really hard, and we have done it well!”

Dave Woolstenhulme, vice president of Regional Campuses, congratulated the graduating class and shared his own story of earning a college degree from USU.

“If it wasn’t for USU’s land-grant mission to make college accessible throughout Utah,” he said, “a college degree would have been nearly impossible for many of these graduates. I’m grateful to be a part of a university whose goal is to empower all who wish to earn a degree, no matter where they live.”

The Beaver High School choir then performed a musical number before Janet Anderson, USU vice provost, conferred the degrees. The ceremony concluded with Kim Larson, USU associate vice president of alumni engagement, welcoming the graduates to the Aggie alumni family.

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