IVINS — Dignitaries, families, administration, faculty, staff and students gathered for a graduation ceremony at Tuacahn Amphitheatre on Thursday as Dixie Technical College celebrated two years of graduates this year, over 900 in total from the classes of 2020 and 2021, the largest graduating classes to date.
Some 300 students participated in the ceremony, which featured pomp and circumstance from the Rebel Jazz Band.
Gov. Spencer Cox made use of technology from his office in Salt Lake City to address the graduates, celebrating them and the important contributions they make to the economy.
Graduates heard from Dixie Tech Student of the Year 2021, Ryan Martin, a man who completed his Diesel Tech Certificate and has started a mobile repair service business to help his tribe on the Navaho Nation. He challenged the graduates to listen, telling them that listening is the best way to solve problems and encouraging them to look for ways to be of service to others.
Martin sang a traditional song about 12 eagle feathers and how each feather represented a goal or a step toward becoming a better person.
Martin was cheered on by a large and supportive family as well as everyone in attendance.
The Keynote speaker was Gary Stone, executive director of Precision Genomics at Intermountain Health Care. Stone gave a message of hope, quoting the inaugural address of Abraham Lincoln in 1861:
We live in a country divided. Yet we are better together. We will differ, and think differently but we are better together. We are not enemies, but friends. Though passion may have stained our trust, this must not break our bonds of affection.
Stone challenged every graduate and guest to change the way they view the future by using 6 tools to navigate it: collaboration, communication, content well examined, critical thinking, creative innovation and competence.
President Kelle Stephens gave a brief synopsis of “A Message to Garcia,” a book that each graduate received. It is a tradition to send graduates on their way with this book because, she said, like Rowan in the story, each Technical College graduate can be counted on to get the job done, whatever the job may be.
Dixie Technical College offers 26 accredited certificates in a wide array of subjects, including the following specializations:
Auto Tech, Diesel Tech, Collision Repair, CNC Machining, Automation Tech, Operations Management, Welding, Electrical, Plumbing, and HVACR Apprenticeships, Culinary Arts, Architectural, Civil, and Mechanical Drafting, IT, Digital Media Design, App Development, EMT, Advanced EMT, Medical Assistant, Certified Nurse Assistant, Medical Assistant, Phlebotomy Technician, Pharmacy Technician and Practical Nurse.
“Students engage their minds and their hands,” Stephens. “They focus deeply in their area of study and enter into careers that our communities couldn’t function without.”
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