Preparation for a successful fall semester was reflected in the university’s enrollment numbers. Nearly 28,000 students were welcomed to campus with enhanced COVID-19 precautions and a variety of course delivery methods to accommodate different needs. And despite a global pandemic, USU saw slight increases in some categories of enrollment:

Degree-seeking freshman enrollments for fall 2020 rose by 0.5%, representing an increase of more than 100 degree-seeking undergraduates.


college in the nation for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic by College Magazine for providing thorough information about fall 2020.

testing covid
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, USU provided COVID-19 testing to employees and students on the Logan campus. The university’s testing site and lab processes hundreds of tests per day, with a total of more than 17,571 tests given during fall semester.
Megan Orme and Candice Buttars, Interior Design students from the Caine College of the Arts, took second and fifth place in the national dscvr Student Design Competition. The contest challenges applicants to design coordinating floorscapes for ballroom and pre-function areas using 12 colors or less.
Jordan Love
For the first time since 1968, USU saw both a basketball player and football player go in the first or second round in the same calendar year. Standout quarterback Jordan Love became the first Aggie since 1970 to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, going 26th overall to the Green Bay Packers. Sam Merrill followed suit, being selected in the final pick of the NBA Draft, winding up with the Milwaukee Bucks. The first Aggie to be drafted into the NBA since 1986.
farming tractor
Utah State University Extension partnered with 13 states and four territories on a Western Region Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Grant. USU Extension received funding to invest in pilot programs focused on mental health awareness and advocacy for farmers, ranchers and other isolated rural Utahns. The programs will be created in partnership with USU’s Center for Persons with Disabilities and Human Development and Family Services departments.
film poster
Christopher González, founding director of USU’s Latinx Cultural Center and associate professor of English, received first place in the Best Nonfiction-Multi-Author section for Reel Latinxs: Representation in U.S. Film and TV from the 2020 International Latino Book Awards.

Rising Research

With the help of OCAMS, a Space Dynamics Laboratory-built three-camera suite on board OSIRIS-REX, NASA collected debris from the surface of asteroid Bennu, which scientists believe may have molecular precursors to the origin of life. The cameras enabled NASA to acquire images of Bennu from approximately 1.2 million miles away and assisted with the spacecraft’s navigation to the asteroid during approach.

students at river
Over 150 years after the Bear River Massacre, the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation are turning the site of the devastating tragedy into a place of cultural revitalization, restoration and healing with help from an interdisciplinary group of graduate students from USU’s Climate Adaptation Science Program in the development of a habitat restoration plan.

prehistoric giant marine lizard mosasaur
USU Eastern paleontologist Joshua Lively, curator of the Price campus’s Prehistoric Museum, reclassified a prehistoric giant marine lizard mosasaur. After conducting detailed research of the mosasaur’s skeleton and a phylogenetic analysis, Lively determined the mosasaur is not closely related to other species of the genus Prognathodon, as previously thought.

Colorado River
A team of scientists at USU developed a new tool to forecast drought and water flow in the Colorado River several years in advance. Although the river’s headwaters are in landlocked Wyoming and Colorado, water levels are linked to sea surface temperatures in parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and the water’s long-term ocean memory.