ST. GEORGE — Gov. Gary Herbert will be the featured speaker at Dixie State University’s 109th commencement ceremony, which is set to honor the institution’s largest-ever graduating class.
During the ceremony, which is scheduled to take place May 1 in the Greater Zion Stadium on the DSU campus, Herbert will address the 2,311 students who have applied to graduate.
“We are honored that Gov. Herbert will be on campus to help us celebrate Dixie State University students’ successes at our 109th Commencement Ceremony,” Dixie State President Richard B. Williams said in a press release. “As the institution grows at a record pace, we have the privilege of recognizing more students than ever before.”
Herbert took office in 2009 and is currently the nation’s longest-serving governor. During his time in office, he has focused on economic development and improving Utah’s educational system.
Herbert was born and raised in Utah County where he would eventually serve as a County Commissioner for 14 years. He attended Brigham Young University, served six years in the Utah National Guard — from 1970-1976 — and started a successful real estate brokerage and development company, Herbert and Associates Incorporated.
He served as the former president of the Utah Association of Realtors and the past president of the Utah Association of Counties.
Herbert has also served as chair of both the Western Governors Association and the National Governors Association. He currently serves as the national president for the Council of State Governments. Prior to becoming governor, he served as Utah’s lieutenant governor for five years.
Herbert is most proud of his roles as husband, father and grandfather. He has encouraged his children to “follow in his footsteps and marry up.” His wife, Jeanette Herbert, before becoming the first lady of Utah, owned and operated a commercial child care and preschool, The Kids Connection, for 23 years. The first lady’s initiative is called “Uplift Families.” The goal of this initiative is to promote good parenting skills, strengthen families, and offer resources to parents throughout the state.
Among the graduates set to hear from Herbert are 33 master’s candidates, 1,125 baccalaureate candidates, 944 associate candidates and 209 certificate candidates. Additionally, this year marks the first time in Dixie State’s history that more students are graduating with bachelor’s degrees than associate’s.
The processional will begin at 8 a.m. on May 1 and the ceremony will start immediately following the processional. To learn more about Dixie State University’s 109th Commencement Ceremony, visit dixie.edu/commencement.
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