Utah State University Moab student Porscha Doucette has been awarded the Peak Summer Research Fellowship, becoming the first student from a USU Statewide campus to receive the prestigious fellowship.
Utah State University Eastern is proud to have celebrated its class of 2021 on Saturday, April 24. The class of 2021 consists of individuals earning 220 associate, 39 bachelor’s, 13 master’s degrees, and 98 certificates.
“A great businessman and Utahn, Steve Covey, said, ‘We develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and obstacles.’ The graduating class of 2021 knows a thing or two about overcoming obstacles. You have made it to this point, you have overcome, and you have done so with honor,” said Greg Dart, Associate Vice President of USU Eastern. “These graduates will sustain our region and build our future. To each of you I say thank you – thank you for your persistence, thank you for your dedication to educational goals, and thank you for your abiding desire to contribute to our world.”
USU Eastern celebrated graduated with two socially distanced commencement ceremonies inside the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center that was limited to graduates and two guests but included virtual elements. Susan Deardeuff, playing the bagpipes, led the processional march of USU leadership, faculty, and graduates. Dart welcomed the graduates and introduced the keynote and the student speaker at each session.
The student speaker for the first session was EUSA Student Body President Sione Siaki, who spoke about the courage the graduates had during the school year while accomplishing their educational goals.
“Each one of us made the decision to further our education to build a better foundation for our futures. For many of us that decision came with fear or insecurity. I know that fear or insecurity grew with the events of this year but I want to commend you all for not letting stop you from achieving your goal,” said Siaki.
“I am here to reassure you that you belong and your voice is important and needed. You are now equipped with the tools and skills necessary to make a difference for yourself, your family and others,” said Siaki.
James Memmott, the valedictorian of this year’s class, was the student speaker for the afternoon session. Memmott spoke about the college experience and the adversity graduates faced during the worldwide pandemic.
“I’d like to say that Covid-19 wasn’t all a horrible time to be in college. I believe that it made us more capable and adaptable to changing within a days’ notice. It made us stronger and allowed us to push ourselves in ways that education cannot,” said Memmott.
The keynote speaker was Deanie Wimmer, an award-winning reporter who covers education and is the co-anchor of KSL News at 5, 6, 6:30 and 10 p.m.
In her video-recorded message, Wimmer talked to the class about responding to the changes that came from Covid-19 and how to grow from them.
“I think all of us would be benefit on how we have changed over the last year and make conscious effort to hang on to the positive. It would be a shame if we gave up all that we learned all year and all the growth, just to revert back to what's familiar,” said Wimmer. “Take these skills of resilience and positivity with you. This year doesn’t define you; on the contrary, how you emerge from all of this will be the lasting legacy on your life.”
USU President Noelle E. Cockett conferred the degrees virtually, and the graduates received their diplomas. The celebration closed with remarks from USU Alumni Association Board President Laurel Alder.
During the ceremony, awards were also given to the following:
- Michael Kourianos, Community Champion Award
- Carson Enlow, Val J. Halamandaris Caring Award
USU Eastern is home to over 90 degrees and certificates options and is one of three comprehensive residential campuses in the Utah State University system. Scholarship applications for Fall 2021 are still open. Learn more at usueastern.edu.