USU Eastern Celebrates Class of 2022


USU Eastern Press Release

Utah State University Eastern is proud to have celebrated its class of 2022 on Saturday, April 30. The class of 2022 consists of 320 individuals earning 194 associate, 41 bachelor’s, and four master’s degrees, and one graduate and 130 undergraduate certificates.

“Today’s ceremony is largely an expression of gratitude,” said Greg Dart, associate vice president of USU Eastern. “Through discipline and grit, these students have completed the requirements for degrees and certificates and prepared themselves for a bright future. To each of you I say thank you – thank you for your persistence, thank you for your dedication to educational goals and thank you for your abiding desire to contribute to our world.”

USU Eastern celebrated graduates with a ceremony inside the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center. Dart welcomed the graduates and introduced the keynote and the student speakers.

The first student speaker was valedictorian Ella Bradley, who graduated with an Associate of Science degree with a 4.0 GPA. Bradley, also a member of the USU Eastern women’s basketball team, opened her remarks with gratitude for her coaches and professors who helped her succeed in academics and athletics. She then likened her two years in Price to that of a race, with COVID-19 and other stumbling blocks along the way, all contributing to the race.

“As you face the hurdles in your race you have choices in how to face them,” Bradley said. “We have all faced our hurdles over the past few years, but we are resilient, and we made it to the finish. As you go forward from here today, remember how strong you are.”

Bryson Pugh, student body president, then addressed the graduates, sharing the story of a personal physical and mental struggle that plagued him, and how the support of people at USU Eastern has helped him recover.

“USU Eastern is a place where we cultivate success,” Pugh said. “Everyone has a place here at USU Eastern. USU Eastern is a place where students have the opportunity to overcome challenges and leave here stronger than imagined.”

The keynote speaker was Michael Mower, senior advisor to Governor Spencer Cox. In his message, Mower highlighted segments of Tim McGraw’s country song “Humble and Kind” and expanded on the song’s concept by sharing stories of individuals being kind to others and helping whenever possible.

“You’re all now off to do great things scholastically and professionally,” Mower said. “But never forget, the best people of all are those who are kind and lend others a hand, even when it is inconvenient to do so.”

After the speech, Dart awarded the Val J. Halamandaris Caring Award to Stevie Hanna. USU President Noelle E. Cockett then addressed the students and conferred the degrees.

“I am certain that your Utah State University education will launch you on a path that will change your life forever and the lives of others in your family and your community,” President Cockett said.

The graduates then received their diplomas and the celebration closed with remarks from USU Alumni Association Executive Director Kim Larson.

Located in picturesque Price, Utah State University Eastern provides the best of both worlds for students ­– the personalized attention and small student-to-faculty ratio of a small-town college, with the educational opportunities and resources of a large university. USU Eastern boasts student government opportunities, clubs and programs like theater, choir and the award-winning student newspaper “The Eagle,” as well as its own athletic program. USU Eastern provides personal or professional development training, technical education in Health Professions, Technical Careers and Business, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees and certificates of proficiency. Learn more at

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