May 7, 2010 — This morning, the University of Utah graduated 7,034 students from 76 countries, 50 U.S. states and 27 of Utah’s 29 counties. University President Michael K. Young officiated at the commencement ceremony, held in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
University honorary degrees were presented to Sue D. Christensen for doctor of humane letters, E. Gordon Gee for doctor of laws, Shane Robison for doctor of engineering and W. Dean Singleton for doctor of business
The Rosenblatt Prize, a $40,000 cash award and the most prestigious honor the university bestows on its faculty, was presented to Christopher R. Johnson, distinguished professor of computer science and director of the Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute at the University of Utah.
The University Distinguished Teaching Award recipients for this year were recognized and are Marissa Diener, associate professor of family and consumer studies; Elizabeth Tashjian, associate professor of finance; Janet E. Lindsley, associate professor of biochemistry; and Sivaraman Guruswamy, professor of metallurgical engineering
The Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award recipients are Brenda Bass, distinguished professor of biochemistry; David Strayer, professor of psychology; and Glenn Prestwich, presidential professor of medicinal chemistry.
Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Jr. began his commencement remarks reflecting on the generations that came before him and the demands current graduates face today. “Our system requires the infusion of new thinking driven by a fresh generation of innovators, leaders, risk takers, entrepreneurs, scientists, community activists, and plain old responsible citizens. That’s you!”
He recommended graduates earn more “F’s” as they venture into the world. “I am telling you that to have a life fulfilled, you will need F’s…something most of you are not used to getting. So far as I can tell, these five F’s may help to get you a passing grade in life: find yourself, find a cause, face failure, find someone to love, find meaning.”
Student speaker Jody Farley celebrated the seasons of her life, focusing on the current season that brought her back to the U and to earning her degree. “In forty-eight years I have learned one important lesson the hard way, and that is, life does not always go as planned. However, that is not necessarily negative. Many times unexpected turns in the road force us to change directions, stare adversity in the face and move to a new season that was unexpected but will ultimately be the instrument for growth,” she said.
Of today’s 7,034 graduates, 5,374 received bachelor’s degrees; 1,770 master’s; 509 are doctorates; 117 are juris doctors; 98 are doctors of medicine; and 48 are doctors of pharmacy. Of this year’s graduates, 3,852 are men and 3,182 are women. The number of degrees awarded exceeds the number of graduates, as some students received more than one degree.
The youngest bachelor’s degree recipient was 18; the oldest, 74. The average age of bachelor’s degree recipients is 26. The average grade point average for this group is 3.18. The average age of students receiving graduate degrees is 30. The youngest student receiving a graduate degree is 20 and the oldest is 71.
The largest number of undergraduate degrees was awarded in economics, psychology, mass communication, human development and family studies, exercise and sports science, nursing, English, finance, political science and mechanical engineering respectively.
Commencement ceremonies for the S.J. Quinney College of Law will be held Friday, May 14, at 10 a.m., in Kingsbury Hall. The School of Medicine will hold commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 22, at 10 a.m., in Kingsbury Hall.
KUED-Channel 7 will broadcast today’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony will also be available at www.kued.org.