A BYU First: More Than Half of 2018 Female Graduates are Returned Missionaries
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Out of the Blue

Going Forth to Serve—Again

Female BYU graduates at the April 2018 commencement.
Photo by Bradley Slade

The graduating class of April 2018 is one of the largest in BYU history. Why? The wave of female students who were “called to serve” LDS missions after the missionary-age change in 2012 are now “going forth to serve” as new BYU graduates.

For the first time, the majority of female graduates—52 percent—are returned missionaries. Compared to 45 percent in 2017 and only 34 percent in 2016, the number of female RMs has steadily increased as female students who left around 2013–14 have returned to campus.

To all of the grads, commencement speaker Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (BS ’65, MA ’66) said, “Be a ray of light. Be your best self and let your character shine. . . . You have entered to learn. Now go forth to serve and strengthen.”