BOISE - Boise State University honored spring graduates Saturday during two commencement ceremonies in Taco Bell arena.

A total of more than 1,800 students participated in the ceremonies. 2,682 students were eligible to receive 2,935 degrees and certificates. Of those, 647 were eligible for honors: 383 cum laude, 203 magna cum laude, and 61 summa cum laude.

Twenty-one doctoral degrees were awarded.

The spring numbers were expected to bring the total number of Boise State graduates to about 4,400 for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Saturday’s commencement was the last one under President Bob Kustra, who announced last November that he will retire on June 30.

Boise State awarded an honorary doctorate to Robert G. Miller, chairman of the board and chief executive officer for Albertsons Companies, which operates more than 2,300 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Miller has worked in retail since 1961, when he began his career as a bottle sorter at a grocery store.

“I had no idea that applying for a job at a grocery store would change my life, but it did,” Miller said in his address to the graduates. “You work hard, you tell the truth, you believe in others, and you have passion for what you do. Find that passion. Hang on to it.”

Clancy Johnston was the student speaker for the morning ceremony, and Rachel Elena Gallina was the student speaker in the afternoon.

Johnston grew up in New Plymouth and came to Boise State as an Alumni Legacy Scholar. The finance and accountancy major gave time to a number of initiatives on campus and off.

“We live in a world that defines us by what we get … once you’ve tasted the joy of giving, purely getting will never satisfy,” Johnston said.

Gallina, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, graduated with honors from Boise State with a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies, focused on economics, political science, gender studies, and an Arabic studies minor.

Gallina was raised in Kosovo, and returned there to develop an English-language curriculum and teach women’s empowerment classes. While a student at Boise State, she also worked with the Mary Ellen Ryder Linguistics Lab to help launch a communication app designed to help local service providers better engage with Boise’s refugee community.

“The world needs changing,” Gallina said. “I’d like for each of us to change the world somehow. Be encouraged by what you’ve accomplished … then tomorrow go out and tackle the thing that scares you the most.”

Link: Boise State University Spring 2018 graduates listed by state and hometown

Information provided by Boise State University Communications