Westminster Holds 2017 Commencement Ceremony

Westminster Students at Commencement

May 15, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY –Westminster held its 142nd commencement ceremony May 13, 2017, at the Maverik Center in West Valley City. Approximately 850 students walked across the stage to accept 543 bachelor and 307 master degrees.

The Class of 2017 is comprised of students from 32 U.S. states and 25 foreign countries. The age of graduating students ranged from 19–63. The class is made up of 54% women and 46% men.

This year’s top majors included

  1. Nursing
  2. Marketing
  3. Finance/Psychology
  4. Accounting/Aviation Flight Operations
  5. Business Administration/Public Health
  6. Environmental Science
  7. Biology

Commencement Speaker

Father Gregory Boyle is the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, CA, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. He is the subject of Academy Award-winner Frieda Lee Mock’s 2012 documentary, “G-Dog.” Known for saying “nothing stops a bullet like a job,” Father Boyle is a charismatic visionary whose compassion transforms lives.

Student Speaker

Laleh Ghotbi is a teacher, student, wife, mother and volunteer, and makes a difference in the lives of many. She came to the United States from Iran 16 years ago, and since, has obtained a Master of Science and Technology-Biotechnology from the University of Utah, and is graduating with a Master of Arts in Teaching from Westminster. Ghotbi is currently student teaching fourth grade students at Whittier Elementary School in the extended learning program for gifted and talented students.

Faculty Awards

Sean Desilets, Ph.D., film studies
Manford A. and June Shaw Faculty Publication Prize

Anneliese Cannon, Ph.D., education
Manford A. and June Shaw Faculty Publication Prize

Michael Popich, Ph.D., philosophy
Excellence in Teaching Award of the Bill and Vieve Gore Endowment Trust

Honorary Degree Recipients

  • Father Boyle will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters.
  • Michael Bassis: Westminster’s 16th president from 2002–2012. Teacher, scholar, administrator, authority on educational change and an active participant in the national conversation on the future of higher education. He will receive a Doctor of Public Service.
  • Ronald W. Jibson: Retired chairman, president and CEO, Questar Corporation and Westminster MBA alumnus. Industry and community leader passionate about education and the arts. He will receive a Doctor of Public Service.
  • Mayor Cherie Wood: Mayor and life-long resident of South Salt Lake. A dedicated community leader whose Promise South Salt Lake initiative is addressing critical resident needs and creating pathways for South Salt Lake youth to succeed in school and life. She will receive a Doctor of Public Service.

For more information on Westminster’s commencement events, visit westminstercollege.edu/commencement.


Media Contacts

Krista DeAngelis and Arikka Von
801.832.2682

About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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