LOGAN – Wednesday night Utah State University celebrated its 134th commencement, with what is likely the shortest such event in school history.
The virtual 40-minute evening featured comments from both President Noelle Cockett and USU alumna and honorary degree recipient Julie Robinson, as well as brief remarks from honorary degree recipients Karen Morse and Linda Daines.
President Cockett encouraged graduates to remember those who helped them along the way.
“Many of you have experienced life-changing moments and forged lifelong friendships during your time at USU,” Cockett exclaimed. “I also anticipate that you had a professor or mentor who provided guidance and inspiration for your future endeavors. I encourage you to let those people know of your regard and your thanks.”
Honorary degree recipient Julie Robinson, who works for NASA as Chief Scientist for Human Exploration, told graduates how the words of one USU professor changed her life.
”As I looked at what to do next, I spoke with Dr. Joseph Morse, Head of the Honors program and a chemistry professor,” Robinson said. “I told him I was interested in research and graduate school, eventually. But I was exhausted.
“I thought maybe I should take a few years off and find a less stressful job. He looked at me with great seriousness and said, ‘Julie, you could do that, but it would be a terrible loss to science. Don’t lose your momentum now.’”
The evening also included a listing of faculty award recipients and student Citizenship Award winners.
USU commencement continues with smaller 60-minute convocations, nine of them Thursday, May 6 and six on Friday, May 7. Those will take place in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or the Daines Concert Hall.
During the week, almost 6,800 people will receive 7,250 degrees. Expected to participate are 5,600 undergraduates and 1,200 graduate students.
Those eligible to walk this week include anyone who graduated in summer 2020, winter 2020 or spring 2021.
Close to 58 percent of this year’s USU graduates are female.
You can watch the 2021 virtual commencement here: