May 5, 2006 — This morning, the University of Utah graduated 7,332 students from 66 countries, 50 U.S. states and 25 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 Pierre Lassonde for Doctor of Business; John M. Matsen for Doctor of Science; Marcia Poulsen Price for Doctor of Fine Arts; Eunice Kennedy Shriver for Doctor of Education; Homer R. Warner for Doctor of Science; and to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and this year”s commencement speaker, Michael O. Leavitt, for Doctor of Laws.
The Rosenblatt Prize, a $40,000 cash award and the most prestigious honor the University bestows on its faculty, was presented to David S. Chapman, professor of geology and geophysics and dean of The Graduate School at the University of Utah.
The University Distinguished Teaching Award recipients for this year were recognized and are: Lynn Burgess Jorde, associate chair and professor, Department of Human Genetics; Suzanne S. Stensaas, professor, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy; and Barry Weller, professor, Department of English.
The Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award recipients are Donald Revell, professor, Department of English; and Ken R. Smith, professor, Family and Consumer Studies. The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Linda F. Smith, professor in the S. J. Quinney College of Law.
During his commencement remarks, Leavitt, former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), called on graduates-in fact, all Americans-to make preparedness a personal ethic.
“Woody Allen was right. ‘Eighty percent of life is ‘showing up,'” the former Utah governor said. He urged graduates to be personally prepared to step forward to lead when others are unwilling to do so. He also told the audience that everyone should be prepared for emergencies by having a first aid kit, a reserve food supply and preplanned arrangements for children should schools be closed.
Of today’s 7,332 graduates, 5,279 received bachelor’s degrees; 1,711 master’s; 416 doctorates; 134 are Juris Doctors; 103 Doctors of Medicine; and 44 Doctors of Pharmacy. Of this year’s graduates, 3,994 are men and 3,338 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 16; the oldest, 71. The average age of bachelor’s degree recipients is 26. The average grade point average for this group is 3.24. The average age of students receiving graduate degrees is 32. The youngest student receiving a graduate degree is 21 and the oldest is 64.
The largest number of undergraduate degrees will be awarded in economics, political science, mass communications, psychology, sociology, human development and family studies.
Commencement ceremonies for the College of Law will be held Friday, May 12, at 10 a.m., in the Olpin Union Building. The School of Medicine will hold commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 20, at 10 a.m., in Kingsbury Hall.
KUED-Channel 7 will rebroadcast today’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6, at 5:30 p.m.