Utah State University is combining its undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremony for the first time this year.
The 132nd commencement is Thursday, May 2 at 9.a.m. in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan. College convocations will be held throughout the day on Thursday and Friday, May 3.
Eric Hipple, former NFL quarterback, USU alum and speaker on the importance of being mentally fit will serve as commencement speaker.
A couple of additional firsts at USU this year include the graduation of 477 first-generation students. The students, first in their families to receive a four-year college degree, were aided with the help of a program called Aggie First Scholars (AFS).
AFS was created two years ago and spearheaded by Heidi Kesler, director of Student Retention and Completion at USU. The program provides mentors for students without a family history of higher education.
Thirty-two students will be among the first at USU to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Outdoor Product Design and Development. The Utah State Board of Regents approved the new degree in 2015. It is the nation’s first undergraduate degree in designing and constructing outdoor apparel and products.
The university will award 4,751 bachelor’s, 942 master’s and 144 doctorate degrees.
This year’s valedictorian student speaker is Abigail Bennion Erickson from the Caine College of the Arts.