Big moments for the class of 2013

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There are 6,001 students — hailing from 48 states, six territories and 69 foreign countries — who are currently gearing up to become official graduates of Brigham Young University, 5,081 of them with their Bachelor’s Degree.

From welcoming a new LDS prophet, President  Thomas S. Monson, to declaring independence from the Mountain West Conference, members of the BYU class of 2013, who will be receiving their degrees on April 26 and 27, have seen many major and historic events since arriving between 2007 and 2009.

Brandon Hatch, BYU’s current student body president, arrived at BYU in 2008 and considers “Jimmer-mania” to be one of the biggest things to happen to campus since then.

Jimmer Fredette won the National Player of the Year award in 2011 and was the nation’s leading scorer. Fredette, who went on to be a number 10 NBA draft pick, set a school record, scoring 52 points against New Mexico that March. He led the Cougars to a Mountain West Conference championship and into the March Madness tournament, where the Cougars made it to the Sweet Sixteen but lost in overtime.

Hatch, luckily, returned from his mission in 2010, just in time to take part in this campus-wide excitement.

“I got to go to quite a few of the big games, like SDSU,” he said.

While sports can dominate campus news, construction has also been a major part of student life over the past six years. Since 2007 campus has lost Deseret Towers and much of Old Heritage Halls but has gained the new Broadcast Building and New Heritage Halls.

Plans for campus didn’t stop there. In November 2011, BYU announced construction of a new Life Sciences building to be completed in 2014, and in January of this year plans were set to turn Campus Drive into a walking plaza.

“BYU has announced a campus unification plan with the intent to unify the campus, create a safe, pedestrian-friendly environment and add additional green space,” Provo Mayor John Curtis said.

BYU can expect more than just physical changes following President Monson’s announcement that worthy young men would be able to serve missions at age 18 instead of 19 and young women at age 19 instead of 21.

“Campus is changing,” Hatch said. “We’re seeing the beginning of an influx of missionaries and a big shift in demographics.”

There are currently more than 60,000 missionaries serving across the world. It is expected that more than 80,000 missionaries will be serving by the end of summer.

Hatch said it is important to take part in campus events while attending BYU.

“Get involved,” he advised current and future BYU students. “It will really add to your college experience.”

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(Slideshow by Robin Rodgers)

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