May 3, 2024
Preston Waddoups standing in front of a small Aggie A wooden stand holding valedictorian award.

Undergraduate Preston Waddoups Named Valedictorian  

Preston Waddoups was named this year’s CHaSS valedictorian. Preston double-majored in English (Literature Emphasis) and Philosophy. During his time as an English major, Preston gave nine conference presentations over several years at the Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, National Undergraduate Literature Conference, and Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society Conference. He was also named a PEAK Undergraduate Research Fellow and earned a ChaSS Summer Research Project award, spending the summer reading all of Irish playwright Samuel Beckett’s work from 1948-1962 with Associate Professor Michaelann Nelson. Preston served as the President for the Philosophy Club and Secretary for the Rho Tau chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. He was also an editor for Sink Hollow, USU’s international undergraduate literary magazine. He has enjoyed working as a teaching fellow, writing fellow, and copy editor for the library.  

Of his recognition as valedictorian, Preston says, “It is such an incredible honor! I feel very lucky to have friends and professors that have helped me grow as a student and person. I’m grateful I’ve so many opportunities at USU to learn and share my work beyond the classroom. Being recognized has made me especially appreciative of all the support I received.” 

Preston will go to Austria next year as a Fulbright scholar, after which he plans to attend graduate school to study Modernist literature.