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CEU's 71st commencement held on Saturday

Clifford Madsen

Saturday, May 2, at 10:30 a.m. will mark the 71st commencement exercise at College of Eastern Utah, Price campus in the BDAC. CEU is Utah's longest operating state community college having been established by the Utah State Legislature in 1937.

This year's commencement will be highlighted by Dr. Clifford Madsen, distinguished professor of music at Florida State University, who will be offering the traditional commencement address.

Madsen grew up in Price in a large gregarious family headed by a school principal and a teacher. Music must have been in his blood because he began playing in the Jimmy Dart Orchestra in the eighth grade. In college, his activities included football, wrestling, radio, dramatics and forensics.

He graduated from Carbon College (CEU) where he received the gold medal as the Most Outstanding Graduate. He continued his education at Brigham Young University where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees with high honors and the Keeler Award as most outstanding musician. He directed the BYU Cougar Band during his master's program.

Madsen earned his doctorate from FSU where he went on to teach more than 40 years and now stands as one of the world's pre-eminent scholars in music education and music therapy.

A living legend in the field of music education, Madsen was the recipient of the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor at FSU, the university's highest faculty honor. He also was given the President's Teaching Award and the Daisy Parker Flory Alumni Professorship for exemplary service to the university.

Colleagues from FSU and other universities describe Madsen variously as "a teacher's teacher," "an inspiration for a number of outstanding students," and "an effective ambassador" for both FSU and the United States, "without peer among his colleagues," and having "the highest degree of scholarship in our field."

Madsen will also be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Arts and Letters at the Ceremony.

Also honored at the commencement will be 2009's student valedictorian, Myka Brennon Potter and co-salutatorians, Katie Jo Marx and David Robert Goodrich.

Myka Brennon Potter, son of R. Brennon and Mary Jeanne Potter and a 2007 high honors graduate of Carbon High School. He attended CEU on a two-year academic scholarship while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average and earning an associate in applied science in automotive technology. He is president of VICA Club and won a gold medal and two bronze medals in Skills USA competitions over the last three years. He has also earned several awards and certifications in various automotive areas.

Marx is the daughter of Mary and the late Bryan Marx. She was Carbon High School's Math Sterling Scholar where she graduated with high honors in 2007. She loves mathematics and working as the math lab tutor this year. She has taken every math course offered at CEU while maintaining a 3.9 GPA and was chosen by the math department as this year's outstanding math student. Utah State University awarded Marx with a Transfer Presidential Scholarship where she will attend fall semester 2009. She plans to pursue a composite mathematics-statistics education degree. Her career goal is to become a math professor at a community college, similar to CEU.

Goodrich is the son of Russell and Karen Goodrich. He graduated from Carbon High School with honors in 2005. While in high school and college, he participated in the cross country and track programs as well as music classes. In addition to the performance programs, he partnered with his sister Rebecca to produce a piano concert in the CEU music building. He volunteers with the SUN (Student Volunteers) Center, serving meals to a local homeless shelter. He is graduating from CEU with a 3.9 GPA and double major in accounting and music.

College of Eastern Utah (Price campus) will honor 295 students as they receive their diplomas in different areas. One hundred sixty nine will be receiving the associate of science, eighteen will receive the associate of arts, eight will receive the associate of science in business, nineteen in criminal justice and two will receive the associate of pre-engineering.

Forty-five students will also receive associate of applied science degrees in seven areas, while thirty-four more will graduate with certificates of completion from six areas.

College of Eastern Utah's San Juan Campus will also be holding commencement exercises on May 1. The ceremony will be held at the San Juan High School auditorium at 1 p.m. The San Juan Campus will honor 88 graduates.

The San Juan Campus commencement speech will be given by Christine Kearl, Governor Jon Huntsman Jr's Deputy for Education.

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