UTAH COUNTY — Brigham Young University senior Sarah Foster, 20, of Bonney Lake, Wash., is thrilled to earn her bachelor's degree in political science.

"I'm pretty psyched. It's good to be done. It's been a lot of hard work and it will be nice to have a break," Foster said.

She hopes to get a job at the Capitol in Salt Lake City. "We'll see if anyone hires me," she said. After a year of work, she plans to return to BYU for a master's degree in public policy.

Foster, along with several thousand graduates from BYU and Utah Valley State College, will don caps and gowns and march to "Pomp and Circumstance" this week.

BYU commencement is at 4 p.m. Thursday in the Marriott Center. The speaker is Elder David A. Bednar, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Individual college convocations are throughout the day Friday, April 25. There will be 6,122 graduates.

UVSC commencement is at 10:30 a.m. Friday in the McKay Events Center. Graduates will begin lining up at 9:30 a.m. for the processional. Individual college convocations will be earlier in the morning and throughout the afternoon Friday. There will be 3,409 graduates.

UVSC's commencement speaker is Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

UVSC President William A. Sederburg said he is delighted to have Huntsman speak at UVSC's last commencement as a college. "He has been a great supporter of the college and our transition to Utah Valley University," Sederburg said. "We are grateful for his support and excited to hear from him."

Dignitaries at BYU commencement will include Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, president of the university and member of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Seventy; Elder W. Rolfe Kerr, LDS Church commissioner of education and a former member of the Quorum of the Seventy; representatives from the BYU Board of Trustees; and administration.

Matthew Daley, Manteca, Calif., an honors graduate in accounting, will be the student speaker. The new president of the BYU Alumni Association, Bruce L. Olsen, will also speak.

The BYU Singers, under the direction of Ronald Staheli, will provide music for the event.

BYU commencement exercises will be broadcast live on KBYU-TV (Channel 11) and KBYU-FM (89.1).

BYU graduates will meet at 3 p.m. in the Abraham Smoot Building parking lot prior to the processional while parents and family should be seated in the Marriott Center by 3:45 p.m. Doors will open at 3 p.m. The graduate processional will begin at 3:15 p.m.

Most campus offices will close on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. to accommodate the services.

A new event will follow BYU commencement this year. It is called "BYU Day" and will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday in the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center on campus.

The celebration includes live music, dancing and a sampling of American, Mexican and island cuisine. There will also be fireworks. Alumni and friends are invited, along with graduates and guests.

Tickets are limited and are available online at alumni.byu.edu, at the Wilkinson Student Center Info Desk, and at the BYU Bookstore on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are $15 for the Class of 2008 and children 5 to 12. Alumni and friends tickets are $20. For more information, go to alumni.byu.edu/byu-day.

There is also a "Meet the President" event, during which BYU President Samuelson and his wife, Sharon, will meet and greet the graduates and their guests. It is from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday in the Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center.


• BYU Commencement: 4 p.m. Thursday, Marriott Center

Speaker: Elder David A. Bednar

More information: graduation.byu.edu

• UVSC Commencement: 10:30 a.m. Friday, McKay Center

Speaker: Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

More information: uvsc.edu/graduation/commencement/

E-mail: astewart@desnews.com