Former Gov. Herbert speaks at Dixie State University

Local News

SAINT GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Former Governor Gary Herbert spent his 74th birthday at Dixie State University speaking for graduates at their in-person commencement.

McKinley Hatch says she’s one of the first people in her family to get a bachelor’s degree.

“I feel so amazing, I feel so excited. I was like emotional, with all the processional, I was walking through like, ‘I did this!’” she says.

This is why McKinley says she felt it was so important to walk in an official commencement ceremony.

“Commencement means new beginning, and I love that so much. Now I get to start my career and start different, a new path,” says McKinley.

Former governor of Utah, Herbert says he wanted to inspire these trailblazer graduates with many of their lives changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our future is bright, we need to not let down our guard. We need to be cautious and careful. We’re learning more about this coronavirus, a new one that we not have known about before and we’re learning as we go. There’s still some issues that we need to sort out,” says Herbert.

Asking these graduates to smooth out the trail for the students coming in after them.

“They’re mascot is the trailblazer, so we had trailblazers here today, and they’re going to trailblaze for others coming after them, so I think that’s a good message for all of us quiet frankly, and one we tried to deliver here today at Dixie State University,” says Herbert.

Herbert is receiving an honorary doctorate degree from DSU and will receive another at Utah Valley University.

“Receiving two doctorates in the same day, I already feel smarter,” says Herbert.

McKinley is hoping to find a career in higher education to inspire others to continue learning.

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