University of Utah 2022 Early Returns – In-Person

The University of Utah’s Class of 2022 celebration will take place in person after two years of pomp and virtual circumstances necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 153rd the general debut will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 5 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. In-person university convocations will also resume in the Alumni House, Huntsman Center, Kingsbury Hall and Union Building on May 5-6. Dental and medical schools and faculties of law and pharmacy will hold their ceremonies later in the month.

Three college years for the class of 2022 have been impacted by COVID-19, including distance and online courses, changing masking policies, and the development and requirement of vaccines. Still, this year’s graduates persevered, said Taylor Randall, president.

“We want to acknowledge the incredible circumstances that this class of students had to face,” Randall said. “These graduates have shown incredible grace and resilience, struggling and succeeding despite historic challenges and uncertainty. It’s time to celebrate their accomplishments!”

The U will celebrate 8,609 graduates, including student lecturer Samuel Aguilar, a “dreamer” under DACA. The first in his family to attend college, Aguilar enrolled at U as a traditional high school graduate, but had to drop out in 2013 when he couldn’t afford his tuition. He returned six years later to complete a double bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and in writing and rhetoric.

For the past nine years, Aguilar has worked at ARUP Laboratories in customer services, progressing to supervisor, co-leading a group of over 150 employees. He says the challenges he overcame are representative of the promotion.

“The last three years back have not been easy. I know we struggled during the pandemic and adapted to the new normal,” Aguilar said in his speech. “But we did it, and that’s something we can be proud of.”

Read more stories from students from the Class of 2022 here.

Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser, an alumnus of the Class of 1984, will deliver the Scheduled speech.

“I look forward to celebrating our graduates in person after two years of virtual debuts,” said Lori McDonald, Vice President of Student Affairs. “Many of these students have had their college experience cut short by the pandemic more than once. I am so happy that we are able to honor this strength and perseverance with an exceptionally exciting launch ceremony.

About the promotion

(These numbers are based on data available prior to graduation and are subject to change.)

By the numbers:

  • The Class of 2022 students represent 26 Utah counties, all 50 U.S. states and five territories, and 69 foreign countries.
  • 8,609 graduates
  • 9,276 degrees (some graduates receive more than one degree); 5,836 bachelor’s degrees; 2,363 master’s degrees; 751 doctorates; 107 doctors of law; 115 medical doctors; 60 doctors of pharmacy; and 44 dental doctors
  • 4,289 self-identified males, 4,257 self-identified females, and 63 non-binary/unidentified
  • 464 is the undergraduate grade point average
  • 25 is the average age of bachelor’s degree holders; youngest undergraduate graduate is 18, oldest is 72
  • 31 is the average age of graduate students; the youngest is 21 and the oldest is 74
  • The top 10 undergraduate majors are: Psychology, Communication, Biology, Computer Science, Nursing, Mechanical Engineering, Finance, Kinesiology, Economics, Political Science
  • 637 graduates receive diplomas with honors
  • 359 veterans receive diplomas


  • President Taylor Randall will officiate
  • Lecturer student: Samuel Aguilarwho earns degrees in kinesiology/writing and rhetorical studies
  • Invited speaker: Doug BowserPresident of Nintendo of America

Special Rewards:

  • Honorary doctorates will be presented to Karen Haight Huntsman, Jacqueline Thompson and Ruth V. Watkins
  • the Rosenblatt Excellence Awarda cash prize of $50,000 and the highest honor the university bestows on its faculty, will be announced separately.
  • Faculty receiving special awards will be recognized in a video during the launch ceremony.

College convocation calendar:

Join the event:

  • Friends and family are invited to watch from the seats of the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
  • You will find information on parking on campus here.
  • Graduates are encouraged to share memories of their time at U and graduation photos on social media using #UtahGrad22.

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