Peek under the graduation caps and meet the valley’s valedictorians of respective sports and non-trivial pursuits. “Commencement” really means “beginning,” and these faces have plenty of pomp in their future.
Kevin J Worthen
Strike up “Pomp and Circumstance” because President Cecil O. Samuelson is “graduating” after an 11-year reign as BYU’s president. Marching in behind him is 13th BYU President Kevin J Worthen. As of May 1, the former BYU advancement vice president will be the head Cougar.
Devin Young and Taylor Sander
BYU’s 6-foot-9 Devin Young and 6-foot-4 Taylor Sander play above their competition in men’s volleyball. Sander, aka “the Sandman,” leads the Cougars with 4.53 kills per set while hitting .327. He also recently won his second-consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Year award. Senior middle blocker Young was named All-MPSF second team after averaging 1.09 blocks per set and 1.45 kills per setting, hitting a team-high .403. Bump, set, strike us impressed!
Graduating from its smaller location in Sandy, the newly opened Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is the ninth largest aquarium in the nation. Alpine’s Lynnette Loveland is the namesake for the 600,000 gallons due to her generous donations. With otters, penguins, sharks and more, there’s everything fishy going on here.
David Archuleta fans were cheering for the commencement of his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile. Not long after David landed in Utah, he uploaded a video to YouTube announcing his homecoming. We’ll sing to that!
Utah’s 4th Congressional District (which includes half of Utah County) has not named its graduate yet with Republican Mia Love and Democrat Doug Owens racing to take center stage. Former Saratoga Springs mayor Mia wowed crowds when she raised more than $454,000. But Mia lost to a Democrat in 2012, which means both are counting on giving the valedictory address later this year.
Utah’s House of Representatives said goodbye to Provo’s own Becky Lockhart as Speaker of the House. The first female speaker in the Beehive state, she is stepping down after 16 years in the legislature. But Becky’s commencement is perhaps just the beginning — rumors are buzzing about Becky’s run for governor in 2016.
To quote the 1984 Bruce Springsteen song “Glory Days,” Spanish Fork High School’s Maverick Buffo can “throw that speedball by you. Make you look like a fool boy.” The senior BYU-commit has had his fastball clocked upwards of 94 MPH and has a 2-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Maverick will finish his high school career during the 2014 state baseball championships May 13-23.