OGDEN -- Weber State University had 1,370 more alumni at 5 p.m. Friday than it did just four hours earlier.
Weber State hosted its 138th commencement ceremony Friday afternoon in the Dee Events Center, awarding associate, bachelors and post-graduate degrees to students who had worked hard for the honors.
The students came to WSU from 32 states and 12 foreign countries, according to one speaker. The oldest graduate was 60, the youngest, 19.
University president F. Ann Millner congratulated the students on "this significant milestone for you," and on graduating "at a time when society needs your best ideas and your enthusiasm."
After a ceremony filled with applause, cheering, laughter and a few air-horn blasts, the class of fall 2011 was happily dismissed, with Millner's instructions to "never forget you bleed purple."
New grad Rebecca Johnson, 38 and from Layton, said finishing her degree took 10 years.
"It's been an amazing experience, going to Weber State," she said. "The individual help from professors was great."
Johnson majored in human performance management and will be looking for jobs as a wellness coach or in corporate wellness. But first, she and her husband will celebrate with a cruise.
Brandon Steinbeigle, 25 and from South Ogden, wore a construction helmet with a tassel, as did all majors from construction management. Steinbeigle's degree took 5.5 years and includes a business minor. He's already working in his chosen field for RK Mechanical Inc.
"I hope to make myself more marketable," he said. "I hope to earn more money and eventually get weekends off. But I'm happy I do have a job. I am one of the lucky ones. And finishing my degree is a tremendous relief."
Angela Chadwick, 20, of North Ogden, earned her associate of arts degree in general studies. She plans to go back to WSU next semester as a bachelor's degree candidate.
"General studies is the most indecisive degree," she said, with a laugh. "I will need to find a major. There were 20 of us up there with this major, and not one of us knows what we really want to major in."
Chadwick said she really enjoyed working with some of her professors, who helped push her to achieve. She planned to celebrate her degree with a dinner out with her family and something festive, like a trip to see the lights at Temple Square, she said.
"It feels so good to reach my goal," she said. "I just can't believe I only have two and a half weeks until I start school again."