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University of Utah to Graduate 8,007 Students on May 2

Student prepares to graduate from the University of Utah on May 2 by picking up cap and gown and autographing the Block U.

Note to broadcasters: A live feed of the commencement ceremonies will be available from KUED Channel 7–via the same microwave feed used each month for the Governor’s news conference–beginning with the procession at 6:00 p.m. May 2, 2013. Contact Al Cutler at 801-867-8221 with any questions.

April 25, 2013 – General commencement ceremonies at the University of Utah will be held on Thursday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

Scheduling the event in the evening begins a new tradition intended 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 2013 is comprised of 8,007 graduates from 83 countries, 50 U.S. states and 27 Utah counties.
A total of 8,469 degrees will be conferred, more than the number of students as some receive more than one degree. There will be awarded 5,432 bachelor’s degrees; 2,126 master’s degrees; 632 doctorates; 147 juris doctorates; 75 doctors of medicine; and 57 doctors of pharmacy.

Of this year’s graduates, 4,324 are men and 3,683 are women. The average age of bachelor’s degree recipients is 27; the youngest undergraduate is 18, the oldest is 72. 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 70.
The largest number of undergraduate degrees awarded were in the following 12 departments, respectively: psychology, exercise and sports science, mass communication, nursing, human development and family studies, economics, sociology, accounting, health promotion and education, biology, mechanical engineering and English.


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

The featured speaker is author Elizabeth “Liz” Murray, whose inspiring life story has been told on film – “From Homeless to Harvard,” and in her book – “Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard.”

There are two student speakers. Mauricio Caceres, who grew up in Peru, is graduating magna cum laude in economics and mathematics and will pursue a graduate degree at Columbia University.  Lauryn Roth is graduating in biology and cum laude in environment and sustainability studies and will enter the University of Utah School of Medicine in the fall

Special awards

Honorary degrees will be presented to Thomas D. Rees, doctor of science; Apa Sherpa, doctor of humane letters, and Andrea Brantzeg Thomas, doctor of humanities.
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 2. A separate press release will be distributed immediately following the announcement.
The Distinguished Teaching Award recipients for this year are: Grant W. Cannon, professor of medicine; Carleton DeTar, professor of physics and astronomy; Carolan P. Ownby, professor of undergraduate studies LEAP Program; and Jon D. Rainier, professor of chemistry.

The Calvin S. and JeNeal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching goes to Kirtly P. Jones, professor of obstetrics and gynecology.
The Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award recipients are: Katharine Coles, professor of English; David B. Kieda, professor and chair of physics and astronomy; and Bert Uchino, professor of psychology.
The Distinguished Innovation and Impact Award recipients are: Dale H. Clayton, professor of biology; and H. Ric Harnsberger, professor of radiology.

The Distinguished Faculty Service Award goes to Patricia A. Eisenman, professor of exercise and sport science.

Schedule for college convocations

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

Wednesday, May 1, 2013:

  • Social & Behavioral Science, graduate students: 5:00 p.m., Kingsbury Hall

Friday, May 3, 2013:

  • Architecture + Planning: 2:00 p.m., Olpin Union Ballroom
  • David Eccles School of Business: 7:00 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Education: 3:30 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • Engineering: 4:30 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Fine Arts: 11:30 a.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • Health: 9:00 a.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Humanities: 11:30 a.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Mines and Earth Sciences: 11:30 a.m., Film & Media Arts Auditorium
  • Nursing: 5:30 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • Pharmacy: 10:00 a.m., Olpin Union Ballroom
  • Science: 1:30 p.m., Kingsbury Hall
  • Social and Behavioral Science undergraduates: 2:00 p.m., Jon M. Huntsman Center
  • Social Work: 9:00 a.m., Kingsbury Hall

Friday, May 10, 2013:

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

Saturday, May 25, 2013:

  • 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  (shuttle locations are starred) 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 2 and 3.

Those unable to attend commencement will be able to watch the live stream on the university’s website at or watch the rebroadcast on KUED Channel 7 Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.


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 33,000 students from across the United States and the world. With over 90 major subjects at the undergraduate level and more than 100 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