Commencement set at USU Eastern Blanding campus
Nearly 200 degrees and certificates will be presented at the annual commencement ceremony of the Utah State University Eastern Blanding campus. The event is Friday, April 29, at 1 p.m. in the San Juan High School Auditorium.
Douglas Wright, superintendent of the San Juan School District, will deliver the commencement address.
The Chancellor’s Medallion will be given to San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca M. Benally.
In all, 92 associate degrees will be conferred, six bachelor’s and two master’s. In addition, 30 will receive certificates in trucking, heavy equipment and building trades, and another 60 will receive certificates of CNA course completion spanning fall and spring semesters.
USU Eastern Chancellor Joe Peterson will deliver the greeting to students with a student council greeting from Elway Thomas, student council president. The student speaker representing the graduating class is Benson Ambrose.
Students earning high honors along with their associates degrees include Paige Benally, Hubert Dayish, and Jade Palmer.
Jedidah Grover is a summa cum laude graduate earning a bachelors degree in psychology.
Kimberly Hiatt earns summa cum laude honors along with her masters degree in education.
Dr. Doug Wright has served as superintendent of San Juan School District since 2002 and is retiring at the end of this school year. He began his career in education in 1982 when he accepted a position to teach at Whitehorse High School. He has taught as adjunct professor for the College of Eastern Utah, Mesa State College and USU.
Wright graduated from Monticello High School, earned his associate’s degree at Snow College, bachelor’s at USU, master’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas and doctorate of education from USU in 1996.
He and his wife, Lisa, are the parents of four children and the grandparents of three.
Benally is the country’s first Native American woman to serve as a county commissioner. She lives in Montezuma Creek, UT, where she was involved in education for more than 20 years as teacher and administrator.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Fort Lewis College, master’s from Brigham Young University and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree.
She has served on the Navajo Nation Board of Education for six years, a Navajo Nation presidential appointment. She continually advocates for quality and equitable education for all children. In addition, she promotes early literacy.
She and her husband, Ray, are the parents of three children.
Ambrose is from Wide Ruins, AZ, located on the southern edge of the Navajo Nation. As a 40-year-old graduate earning an associate’s degree with high honors, he lives by the motto, “It is possible.” He is a recipient of the Chief Manuelito Scholarship.
Ambrose will continue his education on the Logan campus in agriculture education.