The commencement at Snow College Richfield was the end of an era for two of it’s highest officers as President Gary Carlston and Vice President of Student Success Craig Mathie bid the institution farewell.
Mathie, who is slated to retire in June, delivered the commencement address. It will be the final commencement at the Richfield campus for Mathie as a member of Snow’s staff.
Mathie started his comments by telling a story about his first day in kindergarten.
“There were graham crackers and cold milk for a snack,” Mathie said. “I’ve been going back to school ever since. I think it’s time for me to be done.”
Mathie has been a school VP since 2008, but his history with the campus predates it being part of Snow College, working as a vice president for student services when it was the Sevier Valley Applied Technology Center. Before that, he worked in public education as a teacher, counselor and administrator.
“I’ve been inspired by countless students here,” Mathie said. He offered some words of advice to the class — “‘I love you’ and ‘thank you’ should be expressed freely and often.”
Mathie hit on a reoccurring theme at the commencement — carrying on the spirit of Snow.
“To me the spirit of Snow is a deep commitment to making a difference in the lives of others,” Mathie said.
Carlston, who is slated to stand down as Snow’s president this spring, also spoke about the spirit of Snow. He thanked the faculty for their dedication to the education of others, as well as Mathie.
“His advice is always wise and thoughtful,” Carlston said. He said Mathie’s sense of caring and sensitivity have been invaluable to the institution.
“Failure is not when you fall short, or when life knocks you down,” said Jennifer Balch, one of the honor students who spoke at commencement. “It’s when you stay on the ground.”
Kodi Hampton was the other honor student to speak at the event.
“We don’t procrastinate; we wait until the last minute because we’ll be older and therefor wiser,” Hampton said. “You’ll never have more energy, enthusiasm, hair or brain cells than you have right now. So get out there.”
Between Snow’s two campuses, 1,190 students earned degrees this academic year, 64 percent of which were female students. Students from all 29 of Utah’s counties attended Snow, as well as those representing 21 states and 16 foreign nations.