Some 2009 CEU graduates look on as their commencement takes place. Their diplomas read CEU and so this years, but next year the schools name on the diploma will be USU.
It's not often that Carbon County sees the governor come within its borders during any one year. But this year, within one week, Utah Governor Gary Herbert will be here twice.
The first time is this morning at a breakfast gathering co-sponsored by the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce and Zions Bank that many business people and officials have been invited to at the College of Eastern Utah.
The second time will be this Saturday when Herbert will be here to sign a ceremonial bill on the official merger of Utah State University and the Collge of Eastern Utah, and then afterwards to address the last graduating class of CEU during commencement.
The ceremonial signing will end a two-year process started by the Board of Regents in 2008. Senator David Hinkins, the sponsor of the bill, and State Representative Patrick Painter, the House sponsor, will join Herbert, Utah State University President Stan Albrecht, College of Eastern Utah Interim President Mike King and Utah State System of Higher Education Commissioner William Sederburg and other state and local dignitaries for the event.
The signing will take place Saturday morning at 9 a.m. in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center. The public is welcome to the event.
Commencement will take place immediately afterwards in the Bunnell/Dmitrich Athletic Center on the CEU campus at 10:30 a.m. Governor Herbert will be delivering the commencement address and will be awarded an honorary doctorate during the ceremony.
The bill will take effect July 1, 2010 after which College of Eastern Utah will officially become a part of the Utah State family and become known as Utah State University/College of Eastern Utah.
CEU's last independent graduation ceremony will be it's seventy-second commencement.
Joining the governor in speaking to the graduates will be CEU Student Body President Wilford Woodruff of Price and co-valedictorians, Nicholas Cox of Spring Glen. and Dawn Tobey of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Herbert is Utah's 17th governor. Prior to becoming governor, he served as lieutenant governor under Governor Jon M. Huntsman Jr. for nearly five years, before taking the oath of office on August 11, 2009.
Governor Herbert was born in American Fork and raised in Orem. After graduating from Orem High School, Mr. Herbert served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Eastern Atlantic States Mission.
While attending BYU, the governor met and married Jeanette Snelson, from Springville. Shortly after their marriage, the Governor joined the Utah National Guard and served for six years as a staff sergeant working with target acquisition, artillery and ground survey.
After his military service, the Governor began a career in the real estate industry, founding Herbert & Associates Realtors, an Orem-based brokerage firm. He and Jeanette also began a child care service, The Kids Connection, which they operated for 23 years.
In 1990, the Governor was appointed to the Utah County Commission. Soon thereafter, he was later elected to the body, which he served for 14 years. During this time as county commissioner, he served as president of the Utah Association of Counties and the Utah Association of Realtors, and as board member of the Provo Orem Chamber of Commerce and Utah Water Conservancy District.
The Governor currently sits on the National Governors Association Health and Human Services standing committee, the Healthcare Reform Task Force, and the newly created Homeland Security Special Committee.
Co-valedictorian, Nick Cox, the son of Keith and Rachel Cox, was born and raised in Spring Glen, attended Carbon High School where he excelled in academics, soccer, and tennis. He also served an LDS mission to England.
Cox has worked his way through school as a sports official and has represented CEU as a student ambassador. He has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average and hopes to become a pharmacist in the future.
Co-valedictorian Dawn Tobey is from a small town in Nova Scotia named Lyons Brook. She spent summers on an island just of Nova Scotia where she developed a deep love for geology, which is her major. Her plan is to continue her education at Dalhousie University in Canada where she will complete her geology degree.
Tobey has taught traditional Scottish Highland dancing and been a Math tutor while attending CEU and has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
The College of Eastern Utah will be honoring 397 graduates with 349 Associate Degrees awarded and forty-eight certificates of completion. The graduating class includes 254 female graduates and 138 males. Six foreign countries seven states and 18 Utah counties are represented in the class.