239 graduates at 2017 USU commencement service
The 37th commencement of USUE Blanding Campus will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 28, 2017, in the San Juan High School Auditorium, 311 North 100 East.
This graduation is unique as it marks the 40th anniversary of the campus (formerly College of Eastern Utah, San Juan Campus). It also marks the retirement of one of the mainstays and campus founders, Dr. Robert McPherson.
Dr. Bob will be awarded the Chancellor’s Medallion and will address the graduates.
Lisa Rarick, representing the student body, will also speak.
The newest graduating class consists of 239 graduates who will be awarded Certificates, Associate’s, Bachelors, and Graduate degrees. Of that number, 153 or 63 percent are Native American, 67 percent have Minority Ethnicity, and 33 percent are White. Notably, seven of the ten Bachelor Degrees will be presented to Native American graduates.
Following commencement, the traditional barbeque will be held on the USUE Blanding Campus, 576 West 200 South, for friends and family of the graduates.
The barbeque includes Blue Mountain Beary Cheesecake, a special ice cream flavor created by the USU Aggie Creamery in honor of the occasion!
Robert S. McPherson, Ph.D.
2017 Chancellor’s Medallion Awardee
Following a career in the military, and after completing his master’s degree in Humanities, Robert S. McPherson came to the College of Eastern Utah-San Juan Campus (now Utah State University Eastern-Blanding) in 1978.
Now, nearly 40 years and thousands of students later, Bob has a doctorate in History and is a tenured full professor.
Long noted as a master teacher, Bob is an expert in the history of the San Juan County. He has authored 33 books, monographs and chapters in books; over 30 journal articles; and numerous papers and presentations.
Along the way, Dr. McPherson has served the campus in many ways. He has chaired administrative committees, contributed to grant applications and administration, flown to Navajo Mountain to teach, authored curriculum and served as campus vice president.
When anyone wants to know about the “heart of this campus,” they go to Dr. Bob. He has been a passionate advocate for the “mission” of USU Eastern-Blanding.
Lisa Smith Rarick was born and raised in Blanding and graduated from San Juan High School. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Randy, for almost 36 years. They are the parents of two sons, Ryan and Kyle, who are both teachers and coaches at Snow Canyon High School in St. George, UT.
Lisa has lived in Utah, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio and Kansas; moving back to Blanding in 2005. She returned to college in 2015 to accomplish her goal of earning a degree.
She plans to major in Family, Consumer and Human Development with an emphasis in service in the community. Lisa is employed full-time as the clerk for Blanding City.