Huntsman Post

Huntsman graduate recognized during USU’s 122nd commencement ceremonies

As Rosemary Christensen worked toward her degree in business management, she never imagined that come graduation President Stan Albrecht would specifically talk about her in his commencement remarks.

She said when she was told that the president planned to talk about her accomplishments, she was surprised.

“It honestly shocked me,” she said.

Rosemary Christensen

Photo by Sterling Morris

Ms. Christensen must recognize, however, that her road to graduation was unique. She managed to finish her degree in less than four years despite the fact that while she was a full-time student, she was also raising five children. For much of the time she also held two part-time jobs and in the last eight months worked one full-time job. Her husband, Jeff, who also has a full-time job, completed his degree last summer.

And Ms.Christensen, who graduated with a 3.9 grade average, is probably used to the fact that many look to her as an example, because she said that advisors at the Brigham City campus, where she attended, often have students phone her to seek her advice.

“Anybody can go to college,” she said. “It takes stamina. It takes determination. Anybody can do it, if they just put their mind to it.”

She said that she and her husband took things one semester at a time and juggled schedules so they could take care of their children. Ms. Christensen also served as a vice president of her class and was recognized as an “Everyday Hero” by the Brigham City mayor for her work in the community.

Ms. Christensen, who has now been accepted into the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business MBA program, said that attitude is important if you are to succeed.

“I think it’s all in the way you look at things,” she said. “If you look at things negatively, that’s how they are going to be.”

Ms. Christensen was among the nearly 2,000 students who participated in the Utah State University 122nd commencement ceremonies Dec. 11 and 12. 

Rosemary Christensen

Photo by Sterling Morris

More than 30 Huntsman students were recognized in the Graduate Commencement and Hooding Ceremony Dec. 11 and more than 175 Huntsman students were honored at the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony Dec. 12.

The undergraduate commencement speaker, Carol Strong, dean of the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services, said she could relate to the challenges non-traditional students face. She said she was six years older than the average college student and had two children when she started college.

“For you, the gift of a college education results from enormous sacrifice and self-discipline,” she said. “And I know because I share your story.”

President Albrecht acknowledged the economic turmoil students now face as they graduate and how it could complicate their lives.

“Many of the things that you have planned for will need to be adjusted – some in small ways, some more substantively,” he said. “You are going to have to be more flexible. You are going to have to be ready to improvise and to grasp opportunities as they unfold.”

In the graduate ceremony Dec. 11, Byron Burnham, dean of the School of Graduate Studies, said this year’s graduates will “face hard times and seemingly few choices,” but said they would be better equipped to deal with those challenges than they were before they entered graduate school.

“No matter what your discipline, you have a set of skills to help you in defining your problems and being systematic in your approach to understanding those problems and, by implication, dealing with those problems,” he said.

He said the skills they have gained “will move us forward as a community, as a state, as a nation and as the world. Do not be afraid to use those skills.”

President Albrecht said bachelor’s degree candidates represented 37 states and 18 countries. He noted the most popular degree represented at the undergraduate ceremony was economics and he said, “We are counting on those of you who graduate in economics to go out and quickly fix the world.”

Click here to view more pictures from graduation.