Nearly 4,000 BYU graduates in class of 1996

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    By RUSTY PAYN

    More than 3,800 degrees will be awarded to BYU students April 25 in commencement exercises. Another 1,712 finished their degrees in December.

    The highlight of the graduation ceremonies will be the inauguration of President Merrill J. Bateman as the 11th president of BYU.

    Delegates representing other universities will be on hand to honor President Bateman. It is a tradition for university representatives to honor new university presidents by attending inauguration ceremonies.

    The board of trustees will be in attendance, as well as other general authorities and Church Education System officials.

    Bachelor’s degrees will be given to 4,603 of the April and December graduates. Six hundred eighty-nine will earn master’s degrees, and 216 will receive Ph.D. degrees. This year’s number of graduates represents a 2.6 percent increase from 1995.

    Joseph Anthony Smith will be the youngest graduate. Smith is 18 and will receive a bachelor’s degree in zoology. The oldest student to receive a bachelor’s degree is Clare Sue Ellingson, graduating in economics.

    Graduates come from 49 states and 53 foreign countries. Utah represents 28 percent of graduates, California 14.4 percent and Idaho 6.4 percent.

    Colleges with the largest number of graduates include family, home and social sciences with 21.8 percent, humanities with 10.5 percent and education with 8.6 percent.

    47.3 percent of the graduates have attended other institutions of higher learning.

    There will be a graduation banquet with an informal potato and salad bar on Friday, April 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Panoramic Steel Band and the Jazz Legacy Dixieland Band will perform during the four hours of dinner. Tickets are $7 and are available through April 24 at the Alumni House. Some walk-ins will be allowed as well. For those interested, call 378-2599.

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