U OF U COMMENCEMENT ON MAY 8 TO GRADUATE MORE THAN 7,100

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, David McCullough, featured speaker

April 27, 2009 — Commencement ceremonies at the University of Utah will be held on Friday, May 8, at 9 a.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The class of 2009, comprised of 7,132 graduates, will receive degrees that morning. The procession of diverse students, who come from 76 countries, 50 U.S. states and 28 of Utah’s 29 counties, will begin at 8:20 a.m. Guests should plan to be in their seats prior to 8:20 a.m. Tickets are not required.

Of the 7,132 graduates, 4,946 will receive bachelor’s degrees; 1,733 will receive master’s degrees; 545 are doctorates; 133 are juris doctors; 97 are doctors of medicine; and 49 are doctors of pharmacy. Of this year’s graduates, 3,882 are men and 3,250 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, 66. 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 83.

The largest number of undergraduate degrees will be awarded in economics, psychology, human development and family studies, mass communication, exercise and sports science, nursing, finance, accounting, English and sociology respectively.

University of Utah President Michael K. Young will officiate at this year’s commencement. The featured speaker will be author David McCullough, twice winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He will be presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters. The student speaker will be Brittany Anne Gadbury who is graduating in English literature. The vocalist will be Sophia Edwards, who is graduating in music from the College of Fine Arts.

Honorary degrees will also be presented to Carol M. Fay for doctor of business, James L. Macfarlane for doctor of business, Peter D. Meldrum for doctor of engineering and to Marva M. Warnock for doctor of fine arts.

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: Peter Alfeld, professor, department of mathematics; Abe Bakhsheshy, professor, department of management; Lynn Bohs, professor, department of biology; Gary Keck, professor, department of chemistry; and Brian Saam, associate professor, department of physics and associate dean of the College of Science.

The Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award recipients are: Polly Wiessner, professor, department of anthropology; and Michael Zhdanov, professor, department of geology and geophysics. The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Janet E. Kaufman, associate professor, department of English.

The 2009 Distinguished Professors are: Christopher Hill, distinguished professor of biochemistry; Leslie Francis, distinguished professor of family and preventive medicine; Phyllis Coley, distinguished professor of biology; and John Parkinson, distinguished professor of biology.

The University will recognize the 2009 Honors Professor, Andy Hoffmann, associate instructor with the Honors College; the 2009 Bennion Center Public Service Professor, Beth Krensky, assistant professor, department of art and art history; and the Calvin S. and JeNeal Hatch Prize in Teaching, L. Edna Rogers, professor, department of communication.

The 2009 University Professor Stephen Koester, associate professor, department of modern dance and the 2009 Presidential Professor Chibli Mallat, will be recognized along with Park View Elementary School’s Brooke Rowe as the Outstanding School Teacher.

Ten 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 7, 2009. 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 7:30 p.m. in Kingsbury Hall.

Individual colleges will hold convocations on Friday, May 8 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, 6:45 p.m.

  • College of Education: Kingsbury Hall, 1:30 p.m.

  • College of Engineering: Jon M. Huntsman Center, 4:15 p.m.

  • College of Fine Arts: Kingsbury Hall, 3:30 p.m.

  • College of Humanities: Jon M. Huntsman Center, 1:45 p.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, 11:30 a.m.

  • College of Social and Behavioral Science: Jon M. Huntsman Center, 11:15 a.m.

Commencement ceremonies for the S. J. Quinney College of Law will be held Friday, May 15 at 10 a.m., in Kingsbury Hall. The School of Medicine will hold commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 23, 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 broadcast the May 8 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9, at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony will also be available at www.kued.org.

Media Contacts For This Story

university student affairs, the University of Utah
Office Phone: 801-581-7793
Email address: chebert@sa.utah.edu