Utah State University Brigham City, USU Tremonton and USU Kaysville are proud to have celebrated the class of 2023 on Friday, April 21. The class of 2023 consists of 405 individuals earning three undergraduate and six graduate certificates and 78 associate, 216 bachelor’s, 110 master’s, two educational specialist, and nine doctoral degrees.
“Join me in extending a special welcome and congratulations to our 2023 graduates,” said Dan Black, USU associate vice president for the Brigham City Region. “Tonight’s commencement is a great achievement for all our students. You graduates haven’t reached this milestone without the support of spouses, partners, children, parents, siblings, friends and associates who have helped make this day possible.”
The campuses celebrated graduates with a ceremony at Box Elder High School in Brigham City. Black welcomed the graduates and introduced the student speakers, followed by the commencement speaker, Jeff Scott, owner of Mills Canyon Financial and former Box Elder County commissioner.
The first student speaker was Kathleen Mejia, who graduated Summa Cum Laude from the USU Brigham City campus with a bachelor’s degree in social work from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Mejia shared two principles from her studies in social work that have helped her: the dignity and worth of people, and the importance of human relationships.
“I find it a great honor to be able to be a support for my clients and be able to provide them with the resources they need,” Mejia said. “I hope everyone can see their own worth, dignity and importance in life.”
The second student speech was from graduate Nancy Barowski, who received her master’s degree in social work from USU Kaysville. In the address, Barowski shared her journey of going back to school and achieving her degree while battling breast cancer. She shared how she did not let fear get the best of her.
“My message is that you never know what life has in store and it can be cut short at any time,” Barowski said. “Don’t let fear keep you from doing anything. Make sure to embrace what brings you joy. To sum things up– life is short, live with no regrets!”
Scott then gave the graduation address, asking a list of 10 questions to the graduating class about their goals after graduation. Questions included if they changed their course of study, how many want to pursue another degree and more. He finished by telling the students to never stop learning.
“It doesn’t have to be formal or in the classroom,” Scott said. “Learn a language, learn to play an instrument, auto repair, woodworking, horticulture, something, anything. Never stop learning!”
USU President Noelle E. Cockett then provided a short message and conferred upon the students their degrees. Once the graduates received their diplomas, Steven L. Palmer, president of the USU Alumni Association, delivered a welcome address.
The ceremony closed with a special presentation from Rich Etchberger, interim vice president and vice provost for Statewide Campuses. Etchberger and Black presented President Cockett with a gift from the region, a plasma-cut rendering of the transcontinental railroad and golden spike, with the word “unity” etched above the image. This gift symbolizes the region’s gratitude for President Cockett’s support during her seven years as university president.
“We want to recognize your efforts to unify groups, individuals, organizations, and hearts,” Black told President Cockett. “One of the hallmarks of your presidency has been your efforts to bring people together, to help them feel included and equitable. Just like the connection of the east and west, you have worked to connect others.”
With two locations in Box Elder County, Utah State University Brigham City and Tremonton offer students the personalized attention and small class sizes of a small-town college with the resources of a large university. With more than 100 degree options ranging from associate to doctorate degrees, plus technical education offerings, USU offers programs that help fuel local economies and empower individuals and their communities. Learn more at brighamcity.usu.edu.
Located in the center of Davis County, Utah State University Kaysville offers students the personalized attention and small class sizes of a small-town college with the resources of a large university. With degree options ranging from associate to doctorate degrees, plus technical education offerings, USU Kaysville offers programs that help fuel local economies and empower individuals and their communities. Learn more at kaysville.usu.edu.
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