First master’s degrees awarded at commencement

Graduates line up outside McDonald before the ceremony. Photo by Madison Anderson.

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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.”