News

The Last and Largest of the Decade: Presenting SUU’s Class of 2009

April 21, 2009
Category: Academics


Southern Utah University is excited to celebrate its largest ever graduating class, with 1755 students, on Saturday, May 2, beginning at 9 a.m. in the Centrum Arena. With more graduates than ever and an unprecedented demand for commencement tickets, this year’s graduation festivities at SUU promise to be the largest in history. 

The Class of 2009 at Southern Utah University includes 394 students who have earned a master’s degree, 1,015 who have earned a bachelor’s degree, 340 who have earned an associate’s degree and six who will receive a special educational certificate. This year’s most popular majors include accounting, biology, communication, criminal justice, elementary education, family and consumer sciences, marketing, nursing, physical education and psychology. 

As to the composition of this year’s 1755 graduates, the Class of 2009’s average GPA is 3.443, and includes 754 more students than the Class of 1999, just ten years ago. With more degree options, more extra-curricular activities and, of course, more students than ever before, it has taken the average 2009 graduate 10.6 semesters to graduate. 

This year’s graduates come to SUU from 15 different countries: 
American Samoa 
Argentina 
Canada 
China 
Czech Republic 
France 
Germany 
Ghana 
Japan 
Malaysia 
Mexico 
Sweden 
Thailand 
Uruguay 
United States 

Within the U.S., the class of 2009 comes from 41 different states: 
Alaska 
Arkansas 
Arizona 
California 
Colorado 
Connecticut 
Florida 
Hawaii 
Idaho 
Illinois 
Indiana 
Iowa 
Kansas 
Maine 
Maryland 
Michigan 
Minnesota 
Missouri 
Mississippi 
Montana 
Nebraska 
Nevada 
New Hampshire 
New Jersey 
New Mexico 
New York 
North Carolina 
Ohio 
Oklahoma 
Oregon 
Pennsylvania 
South Carolina 
South Dakota 
Tennessee 
Texas 
Utah 
Virginia 
Vermont 
Washington 
Wisconsin 
Wyoming 


And the University’s resident students come to SUU from 26 different Utah counties: 
Beaver – 20 
Box Elder – 12 
Cache – 15 
Carbon – 14 
Davis – 42 
Duchesne – 4 
Emery – 6 
Garfield – 9 
Grand – 9 
Iron – 609 
Juab – 24 
Kane – 10 
Millard – 31 
Morgan – 3 
Salt Lake – 159 
San Juan – 14 
Sanpete – 31 
Sevier – 43 
Summit – 8 
Tooele – 12 
Uintah – 8 
Utah – 105 
Wasatch – 23 
Washington – 213 
Wayne – 7 
Weber – 18 

As to the ethnic origins of this year’s graduating class, students have identified themselves as follows: 
American Indian/Alaskan Native – 17 
Asian – 15 
African American – 14 
Caucasian – 1,626 
Hispanic (includes all Hispanic origins) – 35 
Pacific Islander – 13 
Other – 10 
Unspecified – 25 

The Class of 2009 includes 694 men and 1,061 women, with 60 married couples who will celebrate their SUU graduation together. 

Students donning caps and gowns today range in age from 17 to 67 years old; the average age for a class of 2009 graduate at SUU is 27 years old. 

On graduation day, May 2, 2009, each of the six colleges will disburse degrees in individual Convocation ceremonies at either 11:30 a.m. or 2 p.m. 

Beforehand, at 9 a.m., all of SUU’s graduates will join the University’s top administrators and the state’s higher education advocates at the University-wide Commencement Ceremony, where SUU President Michael T. Benson and LDS President Thomas S. Monson will address the Class of 2009. 

The formal presentation of this year’s honorary doctorate degrees will also take place in the 9 a.m. ceremony. This year SUU will recognize three individuals: renowned painter Jimmie F. Jones, to receive a degree in fine arts; LDS President Thomas S. Monson, to receive a degree in public service; and the late philanthropist and economist Edward Rondthaler IV, who will also receive a degree in public service. 

The student address to the Class of 2009 will also be given in the main Commencement Ceremony. Natalie Brooke Gunn, a history major from Riverton, Utah, will be representing the Class of 2009 at this year’s student Commencement speaker. 

The SUU community will recognize its top students, faculty and staff during Commencement as well. 

Both of this year’s University Valedictorians, Amy Hancock Marshall, an accounting major from Salt Lake City, UT and Mary Jayne Blackmore Roundy, an elementary education major from British Columbia, Canada, have maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average throughout their time at SUU.

Faculty Award Recipients: 
Outstanding Educator of the Year—Lisa Assante, assistant professor of hotel, resort & hospitality management 
Outstanding Scholar of the Year—Gerald Calvasina, professor of management 
Distinguished Educators of the Year—Professor of Library Media Richard Eissinger, Assistant Professor of History Mark Miller and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Mackay Steffensen. 

Staff Award Recipients: 
Outstanding Staff Members of the Year—Administrative Assistant Sheri Butler and Director of Housing & Residence Life Neuman Duncan 
Distinguished Staff Members of the Year—Administrative Assistant Jennifer Hunter and Post Office Manager Bruce Barclay 

For additional information about all of this year’s graduation festivities, visit Graduation Information Headquarters online at www.suu.edu/graduation.

Contact Information: