First master’s degrees awarded at commencement

Family, friends, graduates and alumni gathered together in the Trailblazer Stadium Friday morning for the 108th Dixie State University commencement ceremony where, for the first time in DSU history, the first master’s degrees were awarded.

This year was a special graduation, DSU President Biff Williams said. Out of the 2019 graduates, 46 percent of graduates are first-generation college graduates. In addition, 63 percent of graduates are female and 37 percent are male, all ranging between the ages of 16 and 67.

“DSU has grown so much over the years, and it will only continue to grow and thrive in the future,” PWilliams said.

Graduates were experiencing all sorts of emotions and shared advice about the future.

Braxton Thornley, DSU graduate in English education and 2019 valedictorian, from Taylorsville, said, “Trials are forged by all of us, in spite of obstacles that may be in front of us.”

Graduates need to remember that they are and forever will be trailblazers, and what trailblazers do is create new paths for others to follow, Thornley said.

Williams said, “Nurture and cherish your relationships you’ve built with fellow classmates and faculty members [at DSU].”

Michael Lacourse, vice president of academic affairs, honored four DSU professors as emeritus inductees. The late Ace Pilkington was one of those inductees.

Lacourse said he was grateful for all the professors at DSU and expressed how hard working each and every professor is.

Williams reminded graduates that they can be whatever they want to be and to continue to set goals throughout their post-graduate life.

“[This group of graduates] stands out to be because of their dedication, commitment and uniqueness,” Williams said. “This group will accomplish great things.”

Dixie Awards wrap up 2018-2019 school year

The annual Dixie Awards recognized honorable St. George community members and Dixie State University students, faculty and staff just days before the 2019 DSU graduation ceremony on May 1.

There were 14 categories and 28 total winners who each excelled in their efforts in being leaders and prime examples of what it takes to be a true Trailblazer. The following is the list of winners and their respective categories.

Dixie Spirit award winner: Brett Coleman

Club of the Year award winner: American Medical Women’s Association

Stafford Student Involvement award winner: August Barlow

Heart of Dixie award winner: Felicia Morris

Businesses of the Year award winners: Chartway Federal Credit Union, DATS Trucking, McMullin Legal Group, Sunroc, and Utah Food Bank

Staff of the Year – Rising Star award winner: Chandler Whitlock

Staff of the Year award winner: Ali Threet

Commitment to Diversity award winner: Doajo Hicks

Dixie 11 Award winners: Jace Buxton, Jennifer Clark, Rashe Elliott, Erin Hakoda, Kaden Jordan, Olivia Lee, Alec Meyerhoeffer, Darian Murdock, Bergen Nelson, Hanna Pollock and Scott Powell

Entertainer of the Year award winner: Jaidyn Harris

Teacher of the Year – Rising Star winner: Travis Ficklin

Teacher of the Year award winner: Olga Pilkington

Male Student of the Year award winner: Cajun Syrett

Female Student of the Year award winner: Jane Lo