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U of U Commencement on May 2 to Graduate More Than 7,300

April 24, 2008 — Commencement ceremonies at the University of Utah will be held on Friday, May 2, at 9 a.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The class of 2008, comprised of 7,331 graduates, will receive degrees that morning. The procession of diverse students, who come from 73 countries, 50 U.S. states and 26 of Utah’s 29 counties, will begin at 8:30 a.m. Guests should plan to be in their seats prior to 8:30 a.m. Tickets are not required.

Of the 7,331 graduates, 5,174 will receive bachelor’s degrees; 1,753 will receive master’s degrees; 514 are doctorates; 133 are juris doctors; 101 are doctors of medicine; and 39 are doctors of pharmacy. Of this year’s graduates, 3,948 are men and 3,383 are women. The number of degrees awarded exceeds the number of graduates, as some students will receive more than one degree.

The youngest bachelor’s degree recipient is 18; the oldest, 68. The average age of bachelor’s degree recipients is 26. The average grade point average for this group is 3.14. The average age of students receiving graduate degrees is 32. The youngest student receiving a graduate degree is 21 and the oldest is 82.

The largest number of undergraduate degrees will be awarded in economics, family and consumer studies, psychology, nursing, exercise and sport science, communication, finance, biology, English and accounting respectively.

University of Utah President Michael K. Young will officiate at this year’s commencement. The featured speaker will be Mario R. Capecchi, 2007 Nobel Laureate in physiology or medicine and distinguished professor of human genetics and biology at the University of Utah. He will be presented with an honorary doctorate of science. The student speaker will be Luciano Pesci, who is graduating in history and political science. The vocalist will be Seth Kershisnik, who is graduating in music from the College of Fine Arts.

Honorary degrees will also be presented to Claudia Skaggs Luttrell for doctor of humane letters, Kent H. Murdock for doctor of humanities, David G. Neeleman for doctor of business and Dinesh C Patel for doctor of business.

The Rosenblatt Prize, a $40,000 cash award and the most prestigious honor the University bestows on its faculty, will be announced as well.

The Distinguished Teaching Award recipients for this year are: Denise Dearing, professor, department of biology, Fred Montague, professor, department of biology, Sonia Salari, professor, department of family & consumer studies and Harris Sondak, professor, department of management.

The Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award recipients are: Alan Fogel, professor, department of psychology, Mikhail E. Raikh, professor, department of physics, Gregory A. Voth, professor, department of chemistry. The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Robert Young, associate professor, School of Architecture.

The 2008 Distinguished Professors are: Mladen Bestvina, distinguished professor of mathematics (not attending Commencement), Robert Keiter, distinguished professor of law, Jan Miller, distinguished professor of metallurgical engineering, Richard Normann, distinguished professor of bioengineering and ophthalmology and Young-Shi Wu, distinguished professor of physics.

The University will recognize the 2008 Honors Professor, Matthew S. Sigman, professor, department of chemistry; the 2008 Bennion Center Public Service Professor, Mary Ann Christison, professor, department of linguistics; the Presidential Professor, Arthur C. Nelson, professor of urban affairs; and the Calvin S. and JeNeal Hatch Prize in Teaching, Thomas Eugene Malloy, associate professor of psychology.

The 2008 University Professors, Dennis O’Rourke, professor, department of anthropology, Margaret Battin, professor, department of philosophy, Eric Luna, professor, College of Law and Arthur Lipman, professor, department of pharmacotherapy, will be recognized along with West High School’s Julie Adams as the Outstanding School Teacher.

Twenty-three students who are service-learning scholars from the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center will also be recognized.

Convocations for the Colleges of Health, Nursing and Social Work will be held the day before the University’s commencement, on Thursday, May 1, 2008. The College of Health convocation will be held at 5 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The College of Nursing ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. in Kingsbury Hall. The College of Social Work convocation will be held at 7 p.m. in Kingsbury Hall.

Individual colleges will hold convocations on Friday, May 2 at the following locations and times:

  • College of Architecture + Planning: Olpin Union Ballroom, 11:30 a.m.
  • David Eccles School of Business: Jon M. Huntsman Center, 4:15 p.m.
  • College of Education: Kingsbury Hall, 11:30 a.m.
  • College of Engineering: Jon M. Huntsman Center, 1:45 p.m.
  • College of Fine Arts: Kingsbury Hall, 1:30 p.m.
  • College of Humanities: Jon M. Huntsman Center, 11:13 a.m.
  • College of Mines and Earth Sciences: Fine Arts Auditorium, 11: 30 a.m.
  • College of Pharmacy: Olpin Union Ballroom, 2 p.m.
  • College of Science: Kingsbury Hall, 3:30 p.m.
  • College of Social and Behavioral Science: Jon M. Huntsman Center, 6:45 p.m.

Commencement ceremonies for the S. J. Quinney College of Law will be held Friday, May 19 at 10 a.m., in Kingsbury Hall. The School of Medicine will hold commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m., in Kingsbury Hall.

Campus parking lots may be used at no charge during commencement and convocation ceremonies. As campus parking is limited, graduates and their guests are encouraged to use the free U shuttle service to travel between commencement events. Shuttles run throughout campus and are scheduled every 10 minutes. TRAX will provide a free fare zone on campus that day.

Media interested in making arrangements for a feed to the University’s commencement exercises through KUED-Channel 7, the University’s public television station, should contact U.S. Satellite directly at 801-263-0519. KUED-Channel 7 will rebroadcast the May 2 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 3, at 4:30 p.m. The ceremony will also be available at