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College of Eastern Utah announces commencement program

College of Eastern Utah students studying until the end, at the CEU Library for finals this week as the school year comes to an end. The local college will hold its annual commencement this Saturday at the BDAC.

The 2008 College of Eastern Utah Commencement will be held Saturday, May 3 in the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center at 10:30 a.m. The graduating class numbers at 382.

The graduating class includes 244 students who will be receiving associates degrees, with 54 of those getting an associate of applied science, 26 with an associates of art and six with an associates of pre-engineering. Another 52 will be receiving certificates of completion in areas from automotive technology to welding.

The graduates of this years class come from as far away as Japan, Italy, Brazil, Germany, and Zimbabwe and from the states of Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

This year there will be tri-valedictorian speakers including the following students.

•Nicholas Barry Deeter is a native of Helper. Deeter was the valedictorian for the Carbon High School class of 2006. While at Carbon, he was also named the general sterling scholar, and was a captain for the football and wrestling teams. He also received academic all-state honors for both sports. While at CEU, Deeter has been the ASCEU academic senate vice president for two years, and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. He plans to transfer to the University of Utah where he will major in exercise and sports science and minor in exercise physiology and pre-medicine. Someday he hopes to be a sports physician and open his own practice.

•Wendy Vogel was born and raised in Ogden. In 2006 she graduated from Ogden High School with a 4.0 grade point average. Vogel attended CEU on an academic scholarship and has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. After graduation she will join many family members as CEU Alumni, including her parents, older sister, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. While at CEU Vogel has been a mentor for the Youth and Families with Promise program and participated in many Sun Volunteer Center activities. She has enjoyed working with the CEU preschool and has been accepted into the teacher education program at Weber State University, where she plans to receive dual licensure for childhood and elementary education.

•Vanessa Lynn Hunt is a native of Price and a 2006 high honor graduate of Carbon High School. Hunt attended CEU on a two-year presidential scholarship and was an elementary education major, but recently she changed her major to English. She has been involved with the Sun Center as a leader over the Creekview Elementary project. She was also an editor for the CEU student published magazine The Nighthawk Review. While at CEU, Hunt has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She plans to attend CEU for one more year in order to take more English classes. Then she plans to transfer to a university, possibly Southern Utah University.

Also on the program is the award of a honorary doctorate, which will be given to Ann Morrell Thomas who has been an unfailing supporter of CEU during the past seven years as her husband has served as president of the college. She has been a volunteer in the writing lab, has taught college success classes and has team-taught classes with her husband in sociology, philosophy and criminal justice. In addition, Ann has served as a member of the women's conference planning committee, has organized book sales for the library, has baked countless sheets of brownies and loaves of bread for students who were involved in the Sun Center, theater productions, sports teams, student government, the student newspaper and other campus activities. She has been the tireless companion of her husband as he has traveled to meetings in Blanding, Salt Lake and throughout the state of Utah.

Ann completed her B.S. magna cum laude in English at Brigham Young University shortly after the birth of the fifth of her six children. Before her family relocated in Price, she taught in the writing center at Utah Valley State College. Three of her children and both her son and daughter-in-law are graduates of CEU.

The speaker for this years commencement is well known to the college and community at large. Ryan Thomas has served as president of CEU for the past seven years. In addition to his administrative role, he has taught classes in sociology, philosophy, criminal justice and Spanish.

His recent professional experience includes serving two terms as a commissioner on the regional accreditation agency and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Prior to coming to CEU, Thomas was vice president for administration, student services and campus computing at Utah Valley State College, where he taught legal aspects in the information age, business law and legal ethics as well as serving as the acting dean of engineering and computer science. Prior to working at UVSC, Ryan was in private law practice and worked as an administrator and instructor at Brigham Young University and Ricks College.

Thomas earned his B.S., J.D. and Ph.D. at Brigham Young University. He is a member of the Utah State Bar and the California State Bar and a member or director on over 20 boards.

The Val J. Halamandaris Caring Award will be awarded to the graduate who has exhibited the spirit of caring and volunteerism at the highest level. The recipient will be named as a part of the graduation ceremony.

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