ST. GEORGE -- Former Weber State Univeristy president F. Ann Millner will be the commencement speaker and receive an honorary doctorate degree during graduation ceremonies for Dixie State University Friday, May 3.
Dixie State will celebrate its first-ever "University" graduating class at its 102nd Commencement Exercises at 10 a.m., in the M. Anthony Burns Arena.
To date, DSU is slated to confer an even 1,714 degrees, 14 more than last year, including a record 542 baccalaureate degrees, a 7.75 percent increase from a year ago (503 bachelor's degrees), along with 1,172 associate degrees, which is slightly down from last year's record of 1,197 (1.8% decrease from 2011-12). In addition, 225 vocational and technical certificates will be awarded.
Of the record 542 baccalaureate degrees to be conferred, just over half (281) of the graduates will come from four of DSU's four-year programs - communication (95), integrated studies (69), business administration (62) and elementary education (54). In all, students will be earning bachelor's degrees in 20 four-year programs, including the first-ever graduating class in art (seven graduates).
Nine foreign countries and 35 states are represented in the Class of 2013, while 88 percent of DSU's graduates (1,508 students) call Utah home. Washington County natives make up 71 percent of Dixie's graduating class (1,222), with 26 of the state's 29 counties represented overall. Female graduates constitute 53 percent of the class and the class ranges in age from 16 to 64.
This year's graduating class also features fifth class of high school students who will be awarded an associate degree as part of the Southern Utah Center for Computer, Engineering, and Science Students (SUCCESS) Academy program. The SUCCESS Academy is a state-approved early college high school in partnership with Washington County School District and Dixie State University. This academically rigorous and challenging program provides students the opportunity to earn an associate degree through an on-campus college curriculum while also completing their high school graduation requirements at their boundary high school. The Success Academy on the DSU campus began in the fall of 2006 and to date, 220 students have completed the program to earn their associate degrees, including 41 students this year.
Veronique Gillen, a senior computer science major from Marseille, France, will serve as the Baccalaureate Degree Valedictorian commencement speaker, while Devon Montgomery, a sophomore general studies major from St. George, will speak on behalf of the Associate Degree class.
In addition, Distinguished Citizen Awards will be given to three members of the community, including John E. Anderson, Dixie H. Andrus and Gloria M. Prahl, while Utah State Representative Don Ipson and State Senator Steve Urquhart will each be presented with the DSU Board of Trustees "Excellence in Education Award."
Dixie State's Commencement Ceremony will be available for viewing via free live streaming video on DSU's website and will be broadcast live on Dixie's Community Education Channel (CEC). The ceremony will also be shown on a taped-delay basis on CEC throughout the month of May and on KUEN-TV on Saturday, May 4 at 9 p.m., and KUED-TV on Saturday, May 11, at 3 p.m.
Following the Centennial Commencement ceremony, DSU will host six individual college convocations in two sessions, where graduates will be individually recognized and awarded their diplomas. The Associate Degree convocation will be held following the Commencement ceremony in the Burns Arena beginning at 11:45 a.m. Then at 12 noon, the School of Arts and Letters and the School of Education and Integrated Studies convocations will be held in the Avenna Center Cox Auditorium and Student Activities Center (Old Gym), respectively.
Three more convocations will be held during the second session beginning at 2 p.m., including the Udvar-Hazy School of Business and the School of Communication at the Burns Arena; the School of Nursing and Allied Health in the Avenna Center Cox Auditorium; and the School of Science and Technology at the Student Activities Center (Old Gym).
In addition, the annual Graduate Luncheon will be held that day from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the DSU Gardner Center Ballroom. The luncheon is free to graduates, while extra tickets may be purchased for $11.50 for adults and $7 for children age 12-under.
Luncheon tickets are available at the DSU Avenna Center Ticket Office or by calling 435-652-7800. For more 2013 DSU Commencement information, please visit www.dixie.edu/commencement.