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University of Utah to Graduate 7,659 Students on May 4

The U was recently ranked No. 2 by in its list of top 50 colleges for older students. In its detailed review of the school, noted the U’s flexible hybrid and completely online coursework that caters to a diverse demographic.

April 27, 2012 – General commencement ceremonies at the University of Utah will be held on Friday, May 4, at 9 a.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

The class of 2012 is comprised of 7,659 graduates who will receive degrees that
morning. The procession of diverse students, who come from 64 countries, 49 U.S. states and 26 Utah counties, begins at 8:30 a.m.

Of the number of degrees awarded, 5,513 will be bachelor’s degrees; 1,976 master’s degrees; 600, doctorates; 131 juris doctorates; 100 are doctors of medicine; and 46 are doctors of pharmacy. Of this year’s graduates, 4,199 are men and 3,460 are women. The number of degrees awarded exceeds the number of graduates, as some students received more than one degree. A total of 8,366 degrees will be conferred.

The youngest undergraduate member of the Class of 2012 is 18; the oldest, 70. The average age of bachelor’s degree recipients is 26. The average grade point average for this group is 3.25. The average age of students receiving graduate degrees is 30. The youngest student receiving a graduate degree is 21 and the oldest is 68.

The most undergraduate degrees awarded were in the following 11 departments, respectively: psychology, economics, exercise and sports science, mass communication, human development and family studies, nursing, accounting, biology, sociology, finance and mechanical engineering.

University of Utah President David W. Pershing will officiate at the commencement. The featured speaker is Ed Catmull, president and co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and a U alumnus, having received bachelors of science degrees in physics and computer science as well as a Ph.D. in computer science from the U. The student speaker will be Stefanie Roberson, who is receiving a bachelor of science degree in information systems.

Honorary degrees will be presented to A. Lorris Betz, doctor of science; H. David Burton, doctor of business, Wataru “Wat” Misaka, doctor of humane letters, Jerilyn McIntyre, doctor of education, and Beverly T. Sorenson, doctor of fine arts.

The Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, a $40,000 cash award and the most prestigious honor the university bestows on its faculty, will be announced May 4. A separate press release will be distributed immediately following the announcement.

The Distinguished Teaching Award recipients for this year are: Bonnie Baty, clinical professor of pediatrics; Evert C. Lawton, professor of civil and environmental engineering; Mark Matheson, professor of English; and Gerald E. Root, associate professor of French.

The Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award recipients are: Kenneth M. Golden, professor of mathematics; Gary E. Keck, professor of chemistry; and Hong Yong Sohn, professor of metallurgical engineering.

The Distinguished Innovation and Impact Award recipients are: Ellen R. Bromberg, associate professor of modern dance; Stephen C. Jacobsen, distinguished professor of mechanical engineering; and Florian Solzbacher, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

The 2012 Distinguished Professors are: David Grainger, pharmacy and pharmaceutical chemistry; Robert Marc, ophthalmology; and Kathryn Stockton, English.

The university will also recognize 2012 Honors Professor Michael Gillis, University Writing Program; 2012 Public Service Professors, Trinh Mai, College of Social Work and Yda Jean Smith, College of Health; and the recipient of the Calvin S.and JeNeal Hatch Prize in Teaching, E. Daniel Edwards, professor of social work.  The 2012 University Professor Robert Hitchcock, College of Engineering will be recognized along with the Outstanding Public School Teacher Michele Brunson from the South Elementary School in Cedar City, Utah and Ronald M. Smelser, professor of history, who will receive the Distinguished Service Award.

Convocations for the colleges of health, nursing, social work, and graduate students of the college of social and behavioral science will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2012.
Individual college convocations on Friday, May 4 are scheduled at the following locations and times:

  • College of Architecture + Planning: 2:00 p.m., Olpin Union Ballroom
  • David Eccles School of Business: 4:15 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • College of Education: 1:30 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • College of Engineering: 1:45 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • College of Fine Arts: 3:30 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • College of Humanities: 6:45 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • College of Mines And Earth Sciences: 11:30 a.m., Film & Media Arts Auditorium
  • College of Pharmacy: 11:30 a.m., Olpin Union Ballroom
  • College of Science: 11:30 a.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • College of Social And Behavioral Science, Undergraduates: 11:15 a.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center

Commencement ceremonies for the S. J. Quinney College of Law will be held Friday, May 11 at 10 a.m., in Kingsbury Hall. The School of Medicine will hold commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 19, 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, visitors are encouraged to use the free U shuttle service to travel between commencement events. Shuttles run throughout campus and are scheduled every 10 minutes. There is a free fare zone on TRAX May 4 from Rice Eccles Stadium to the Medical Center station.


The University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain range, is the flagship institution of higher learning in Utah. Founded in 1850, it serves over 31,000 students from across the United States and the world. With over 72 major subjects at the undergraduate level and more than 90 major fields of study at the graduate level, including law and medicine, the university prepares students to live and compete in the global workplace. Learn more about all the U has to offer online at