Utah State University Blanding Celebrates Class of 2022
Utah State University Blanding is proud to have celebrated its class of 2022 on Friday, April 29. The class of 2022 consists of individuals earning 67 associate, 16 bachelor’s, three master’s degrees and 87 certificates.
“It is truly an exciting occasion to be here with you today—to celebrate the achievements of our graduates in the presence of so many family members and friends,” said Kristian Olsen, associate vice president of USU Blanding.
USU Blanding celebrated graduates with a ceremony at San Juan High School. Olsen welcomed the graduates and introduced the student speaker, Que Begay, student body executive vice president.
Begay shared different kinds of knowledge that mankind can gain throughout life: knowledge from personal experience, knowledge from the experiences of others, knowledge passed down from generation to generation and knowledge gained as students.
“None of these forms of knowledge take the place of the other,” Begay said. “They all help you become the person you want to be. Knowledge is like a tree in your head that constantly needs watering and the only way it can be fed is by adding new information. The beautiful thing about knowledge is that the tree never stops growing regardless of how old you get.”
Olsen then introduced the commencement guest speaker, Curtis “Bud” Frazier, a former USU Blanding graduate and Blanding native, a member of the Navajo Nation. Frazier began his nursing career at USU Blanding, graduating with an Associate of Science degree. He is also the founder and executive director of Navajo Strong, a non-profit organization that he started to aid the Navajo community during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. Frazier spoke to the audience about failure, resilience, compassion and love.
“ I dropped out of university twice,” Frazier said. “But I stand before you now as someone who now has three degrees and is working on a fourth. Your goals will change; you will face adversity; you will fail. But that is okay. You can be resilient; you can overcome adversity– by having compassion and love for yourself. By being vulnerable and courageous. I want you to remember that ordinary people can change the world.”
USU President Noelle E. Cockett then provided a virtual message and conferred upon the students their degrees, and the graduates received their diplomas. The celebration concluded with a welcome address from Kim Larsen, associate vice president and executive director of the USU Alumni Association.