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University of Utah to Graduate 7,947 Students on May 1


April 23, 2014 – General commencement ceremonies at the University of Utah will be held on Thursday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Scheduling the event in the evening continues a tradition begun in 2013 to make the ceremonies more readily accessible to students and their families. Commencement is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

“Commencement is the capstone of our students’ experience at the U,” says David W. Pershing, University of Utah president. “We want the ceremony to reflect that and for the celebration to be among the highlights they will remember as they begin the next stage of their lives.”

By the numbers

The class of 2014 is comprised of 7,947 graduates from 76 countries, 50 U.S. states and 28 Utah counties.

A total of 8,398 degrees will be conferred, more than the number of students as some receive more than one degree. There will be awarded 5,417 bachelor’s degrees; 2,045 master’s degrees; 673 doctorates; 127 juris doctorates; 79 doctors of medicine; and 57 doctors of pharmacy.

Of this year’s graduates, 4,280 are men and 3,667 are women. The average age of bachelor’s degree recipients is 26; the youngest undergraduate is 15, the oldest is 70. The average grade point average for this group is 3.3. The average age of students receiving graduate degrees is 32. The youngest student receiving a graduate degree is 21 and the oldest is 71.

The largest number of undergraduate degrees awarded were in the following 10 departments, respectively: psychology, communication, human development and family studies, economics, nursing, exercise and sports science, accounting, biology, sociology and mechanical engineering.


University of Utah President David W. Pershing will officiate at the commencement.

The featured speaker is Alex Smith, University of Utah graduate, philanthropist and quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The student speaker is Janine Henry who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication and a minor in writing. Her speech is entitled “For the Small Things.”

Special awards

Honorary degrees will be presented to H. Roger Boyer, doctor of business; Richard E. Kendell, doctor of humane letters; Alex Smith, doctor of humane letters, and posthumously to Lewena “Tye” Noorda, 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 1. A separate press release will be distributed immediately following the announcement.

The Distinguished Teaching Award recipients for this year are: Vincent Cheng, Shirley Sutton Thomas professor of English; Joel M. Harris, distinguished professor of chemistry; Christine A. Jones, associate professor of French; and William Jeff Metcalf, assistant professor of English.

The Calvin S. and JeNeal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching is awarded to Theresa A. Martinez, associate professor of sociology.

The Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award recipients are: Andres Villu Maricq, professor of biology; and M. Denise Dearing, professor of biology.

The Distinguished Innovation and Impact Award recipients are: V. Kim Martinez, associate professor of art and art history; and Glenn D. Prestwich, presidential professor of medicinal chemistry.

The Distinguished Faculty Service Award goes to Hester L. Henderson, associate professor of exercise and sport science.

Schedule for college convocations

Individual college convocations are scheduled on the following days, times and locations:

Thursday, May 1, 2014:

  • Social & Behavioral Science, graduate students: 10 a.m. Kingsbury Hall

Friday, May 2, 2014:

  • Architecture + Planning: 3:00 p.m., Olpin Union Ballroom
  • David Eccles School of Business: 4:30 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Education: 6:00 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • Engineering: 7:00 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Fine Arts: 1:00 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • Health: 11:30 a.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Humanities: 2:00 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Mines and Earth Sciences: 12 noon, Olpin Union Ballroom
  • Nursing: 8:00 a.m, Kingsbury Hall
  • Pharmacy: 9:00 a.m., Olpin Union Ballroom
  • Science: 3:30 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • Social and Behavioral Science undergraduates: 9:00 a.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Social Work: 10:30 a.m., Kingsbury Hall

Friday, May 9, 2014:

  • S. J. Quinney College of Law: 10:00 a.m., Kingsbury Hall

Saturday, May 24, 2014:

  • School of Medicine: 10 a.m., Kingsbury Hall.

Transportation and parking
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. The U campus is a TRAX free fare zone on May 1 and 2.

Those unable to attend commencement will be able to watch the live stream on the university’s website here or watch the rebroadcast on KUED Channel 7 Saturday, May 3, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.