2020: A UTAH (STATE) of change


The Utah State Greats celebrates the many meaningful discoveries, engagement and connections the university creates every year.

The 2020 New Year arrived holding the promise of a fresh start and a new decade filled with opportunities to renew goals and build on what Utah State University does best – teaching, research and service. No one could have predicted how it would unfold. By March, the COVID-19 pandemic brought USU and its bustling campus life to a “virtual” standstill, as community and employees were faced with the question: “How do we continue to provide quality education while protecting the health and wellness of our students."

However, in true Aggie fashion, progress went undeterred. Educators, administrators and students alike accepted the challenges with both resiliency and resolve. Online learning was acclimated to and embraced by the student body, as terms like social distancing entered the vernacular.


Campus life in early 2020 brought a new decade filled with opportunities for USU’s campus community.

USU Uintah Basin faculty Seth Lyman was awarded the Clean Air Person of the Year by the Utah Clean Air Partnership.

USU hosted the 14th annual Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Students at all USU campuses were provided free access to the ACT Guide program.


As the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the entire world, USU quickly transitions to online learning to finish spring semester.

Researchers at USU’s Institute for Antiviral Research are at work testing antiviral compounds and licensed drugs for their effectiveness against the novel coronavirus.

Utah State’s men’s basketball team repeated as Mountain West champions.

Three USU students were named 2020 Goldwater Scholars in a prestigious national competition that recognizes outstanding achievements in science and mathematics.


USU begins planning for a successful fall semester with multiple course delivery methods and pledges for personal responsibility.

A comet, discovered by a space-based telescope built by Space Dynamics Laboratory, was on display for stargazers on Earth with a spectacular light show throughout the summer.

USU’s Class of 2020 from around the world received a surprise graduation box.

USU Professor Janice Brahney made international news for research showing that “microplastics" are accumulating not only in wastewater, rivers and the world’s oceans, but also in the atmosphere.


Nearly 28,000 students returned to USU campuses to continue classes and research with enhanced COVID-19 precautions.

USU Eastern paleontologist Joshua Lively, curator of the Price campus’s Prehistoric Museum, reclassified a prehistoric giant marine lizard mosasaur.

USU scientist developed a new tool to forecast drought and water flow in the Colorado River several years in advance.

USU Interior Design students from the Caine College of the Arts, took second and fifth place in the national in the national dscvr Student Design Competition.