Governor Gary Herbert shakes hands with CEU graduate Michael Overson during commencement activities. The college graduated 392 students with many coming from foreign countries, from across the United States and from many counties in Utah.
In a very short ceremony on Saturday morning, ended with a stroke of a pen, a new era began in Price.
It is the Utah State University/College of Eastern Utah era.
After remarks by Utah Governor Gary Herbert, CEU Interim President Mike King, Utah Commissioner of Higher Education Bill Sederburg, USU President Stan Albrecht, State Representative Patrick Painter and State Senator David Hinkins, the group stood behind the governor and watch as he signed the bill making USU and CEU one.
"These are remarkable times with remarkable opportunities," said Herbert during his remarks. "This gives the people of this area the chance to get a four year degree without ever leaving home."
All who spoke were positive about the change that was taking place.
"I know one plus one doesn't equal four, but in this case it does," said Painter, who along with Hinkins sponsored the bill in the legislature this past sesson to get the merger done. "The two colleges together will make for four year degrees for people of this area."
Hinkins expressed the view that the area finally has a university instead of just a junior college or even a four year college.
"This is a great thing," he said. "We loved the college being here, now at last we have a full university, Utah State University."
Sederburg and Albrecht talked about the cooperation of the two schools and their faculties in making the merger a reality. They also thanked the many people behind the scenes that had taken great effort to bring the effort to fruition.
Then they all gathered behind Herbert as he signed the three ceremonial bills that were laid out on the table before him. The crowd of around 70 people cheered and applauded.
So on July 1, the merger will take place, with a new name, a new leader (Joe Peterson who will be chancellor) but the same mission of providing higher education for people of southeastern Utah.