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USU Eastern bids farewell to class of 2011

Recent alumnae go airborne to show their elation after Saturday's commencement.

Sun Advocate reporter

Life is an endless parade of choices for USU Eastern graduates who are preparing to take their next step in life after reaching a milestone of graduating from college.

Those were the words of commencement speaker Gail Miller, widow of the late Larry H. Miller. Miller spoke to a capacity crowd on hand at the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center as USU Eastern graduates walked across the stage with diplomas in hand and smiles all around.

The college had 280 graduate candidates, although not everyone chose to walk in the ceremony. But for those who did walk, many received their associate's degree. Also one student earned a graduate degree and six other students earned a bachelor's degree.

Miller invoked the teachings of her husband Larry in telling the graduates that quality of life is affected by the quality of the choices that are made over the course of your life. The hard work and determination it took to reach this point of graduation is one of those choices, she said.

During the commencement, Miller was presented with a Chancellor's Medallion by USU Eastern Chancellor Joe Peterson. The medallion was given to Miller as part of the inaugural year of the connection between the College of Eastern Utah and Utah State University.

Co-Valedictorian Lance Deeter talked about the journey every graduate has traveled to reach the point of graduation, equating the journey to riding a bike crashing, falling off and getting stitches along the way.

"We've reached the end of the trail but we will experience a lot more ahead," Deeter said. "Just remember what your mother always said: Always wear a helmet."

The mascot of the college, a Golden Eagle, is a representation of what each student who worked to reach the point of graduation, said Rachel Ryan, student body president.

Invoking the famous author Theodor Seuss Geisel, or better known as Dr. Suess, Ryan told fellow graduates to look back fondly on the fun times at USU Eastern as everyone prepares to travel down new paths in life by referencing Dr. Suess's well known book Oh the Places You'll Go! But she reminded graduates that each and every one of them will share one trait for the rest of their lives.

"We are all Golden Eagles," she said.

Before finishing her commencement speech, Miller also compared the students to being eagles, some taking longer to soar in life than others. But after graduation, the real work it takes to soar in life now begins, she said.

"Congratulations, you've done it," Miller said to the graduates. "Now tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life. Grab a hold of life and don't let it control you."

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