Successful entrepreneur and founder of PowerSchool returns to graduate from BYU

Greg Porter’s story began during high school in the 1980s. Now, decades later, he will be speaking at this year’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences convocation, at which both he and his son will graduate. Since his beginnings as an ambitious teenager, Porter has experienced adventure, success, hardship and risk.

As the student body president of Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, California, Porter was aware of the inefficiencies and challenges facing education. When he and a classmate enrolled in a computer programming class, they created record-keeping software to help teachers and students keep track of grades. Upon hearing about the innovation, other schools paid the two teenagers about $300 to use it in their own programs.

“When I was a kid, I acquired confidence that told me I could pursue anything I wanted,” says Porter. “It wasn’t much, but I learned so much just by stepping out into the real world and starting something on my own.” In his heart, he knew he was meant to become a businessman and intended to find that future in higher education.

Upon coming to BYU, Porter changed his major three times before deciding on Psychology, saying, “If you are drawn to something, check it out. BYU offers the perfect testing ground to explore and learn what your interests and passions are. Don’t run yourself into the ground thinking some majors are better than others. Do what you love.”

Rather than graduating, Porter left school with one class left, deciding to make his fortune and become an entrepreneur. “That’s when I went out and started PowerSchool and started working with the software. I’m not a great programmer myself, but I couldn’t afford to pay someone else to do it so I just dove in and started working on it,” says Porter. “That required me to work without a salary for a year and a half to two years, and I just funded myself.”

Soon he found investors, and PowerSchool became widely popular among school administrators, teachers, students and parents. Gaining momentum across the country, the company was acquired by Apple, Inc. In making the transition, Porter met regularly with Steve Jobs to plan for the future. “I’m so grateful that we found a strategic partner… rather than just somebody that just helped us do what we’re already doing.”

After finding success as an entrepreneur, father, and business owner, Porter came back to BYU to enroll in one final class and earn his degree. On Friday, April 26th, he will not only be the Family, Home, and Social Sciences convocation speaker, but will also graduate alongside his son.

Important Information for Graduation!

Spring is always fun. There’s warmer weather, Easter, the end of the semester, and…graduation! For the past four+ years, we worked, stressed, and cried over school. Now, it’s the time to celebrate! But before you throw your cap in the air and say good-bye to Provo, here are some important dates and deadlines for graduation.

Independent study

Students completing independent study courses need to have all of their work, including the final exam, submitted by April 4th.

Caps and Gowns




  • April 27
  • We will send out an email to students with more instructions, but here are a few important things to note:
    • We are asking graduates to meet at the Marriott Center at 4 p.m.
    • The Convocation ceremony begins at 5 p.m.

Karen Ashton will be giving the Convocation address. Karen and her husband Alan are philanthropists who have donated much to the LDS church. Together, they also founded Thanksgiving Point as a way to show their gratitude to the community. From 2013-2016, Karen served as the Matron of the Provo, UT Temple.

Congrats on graduating, Cougars!



10 Gifs That Perfectly Explain Your Pre-Graduation Feelings

The anticipation of graduation can be fun and exciting. It can also be not fun and leave you an emotional train-wreck. If you are graduating, congratulations! You are amazing. And if you have been feeling a lot of feelings; we want you to know that what you’re going through is completely normal.

You have probably felt one or more of these feelings this semester:

  • You want it to end.

can't take it


You’ve worked too hard for too long, and you’re ready to move on to the next phase. Finals? You’re pretty much over them. Grades? Who cares. Wedding receptions? You’ve had enough. You’re ready to move on.

  • You don’t want it to end:


You’ve come to love BYU and now you are being forced to leave; and there is nothing in this world that can make you whole again. You’re feeling all the feels right now and it’s ruining you. Please stay calm. You will get through this.

  • You’re tired.

marry my bed.gif


  • You’re hungry:




  • You can’t quite put your finger on it…



Graduation is a big deal, and taking this necessary step in life is just downright emotionally taxing. We get you. Please just take a moment to relax. Treat yourself to a J-Dawg or a half-gallon of Graham Canyon. These emotions will pass.


  • You dread the thought of leaving your best friends. 

queen b.gif

The friendships you make in college are unlike any others. You and your squad have been through a lot together. Football games. Break-ups. Staying up until 3 am watching Netflix and pounding buckets of ice cream. The list goes on.

We can only imagine how you are feeling as you prepare to graduate. You and your girls/bros are splitting up and you can hardly stand it. You miss them every second. You text them constantly.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may be at risk for chronic best-friend withdrawal.

  • You’re okay with graduation and you can’t wait to leave and you can hardly believe more people aren’t as happy about this as you are.

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Do your dance, graduate. Do your dance.


  • You are SURE you will do great in grad school and you’re gonna walk in there like…

kanye swag.gif


You are correct. You are going to OWN grad school. If at times you feel uncertain, here are 9 Signs you’re ready to be a grad student.


  • You have no idea what you’re going to do with your degree.



If you’re still searching for a career, Check out BYU Alumni Career Services. They can give you the connections you need to be successful after graduation. Also, remember that we do not get degrees for the sole purpose of landing a job. We develop knowledge and skills needed in other areas of life. For example, a college degree can help you be a better mother.


  • You already have a job lined up and you’re chillin’.


If this is you, we’d like to congratulate you on your success and let you know that we’re totally jealous of you and we kinda hope we stay friends so you can buy us dinner sometime.

Be happy graduates. You’ve earned it. Stay in touch and good luck with the rest of your life!

images via GIPHY

Which of these emotions is you right now?