Utah State University Kaysville is proud to celebrate its class of 2021, comprised of 195 Kaysville community members. The Class of 2021 consists of individuals earning 20 associate, 80 bachelor’s, 92 master’s and 3 doctoral degrees.
“You have been amazing and persevered through an unprecedented time,” said Dan Black, associate vice president of the USU Brigham City Region. “Congratulations on finishing your degrees and being successful. The youngest graduate is 17, and the oldest is 73. Way to go. We are here today to celebrate these accomplishments.”
USU Kaysville celebrated graduates with a socially distanced gathering at the USU Kaysville campus that was limited to graduates and two guests but included virtual elements. Black welcomed the graduates and introduced Jaron Smith, director of USU Kaysville, along with the student speakers.
“It is a great privilege to be able to share some thoughts with you on this very special day,” said Smith. “It has been a unique time to be a student and you have all been able to navigate unknown waters that you never anticipated.”
Meghan Campbell, who received her master’s in education in professional school counseling, shared her story of returning to the graduate program after a 13-year hiatus.
“I’ve absolutely loved my time in this program,” she said. “Reflecting on all the growth, increased professional and personal awareness, amazing friendships made, and incredible life-lessons learned over the past few years. … My time at USU has been instrumental in helping me stretch in the direction of grace, gratitude, light and love.”
Campbell listed her key takeaways that she received while in the program that included, recognizing and challenging implicit bias, daring to engage, imagining another’s experience and advocacy.
“Never pass a student in the hall without a genuine smile and greeting that communicates,” she said. “You matter, you belong here. I understand not all of us are working in schools or with students, but this applies to any and every one in your circle of influence. Let your people know that you’ve noticed them, that they matter, that they’d be missed if they weren’t here.”
Nathan Webb received his master’s in psychology and spoke on overcoming the challenges over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I feel that many of us stand here today with a renewed sense of self efficacy,” said Webb. “A confidence we may not have had if we did not have to endure this last year. A feeling of self-worth that may not be so strong had the pandemic not derailed the world. We are an incredibly strong group of people. And we can do incredibly hard things. Some of us struggled with our mental health. But we never, ever gave up. That type of strength is forged in the fire of trial and adversity.”
USU President Noelle E. Cockett conferred the degrees virtually, and the graduates received their diplomas.