Pres. Packer's alma mater confers honorary degree

President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Utah State University on June 8.

President Packer was recognized as one who "personifies devotion to principle."The university presented honorary degrees to four others: Spencer F. Eccles, chairman and chief executive officer of First Security Corp., and one of Utah's foremost business and civic leaders, who was the keynote speaker at USU's 103rd commencement exercises; Kent W. Colton, a former USU student body president, now executive vice president of the National Association of Home Builders, who is a member of the McLean 2nd Ward, McLean Virginia Stake; Amos Jordan Jr., a national security adviser to several U.S. presidents, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Departments of State and Defense and former head of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who is a member of the Mueller Park 10th Ward, Bountiful Utah Mueller Park Stake; and R. Dean Plowman, a USU graduate and former USU department head, former administrator of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, and now acting deputy Secretary of Agriculture in the Clinton Administration, who is a member of the North Logan 1st Ward, North Logan Utah Stake.

A certificate accompanying the honorary degree bestowed upon President Packer reads, in part:

"In a world of shifting values, he is a `watchman on the tower.' As a noted religious leader for four decades, he has, without apology and in the face of great pressures, held a firm line against moral relativism.

"Elder Packer has lived a life of service - to his community, his country, and to millions of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whom he serves as a General Authority.

"We are proud to claim Boyd Packer as a native son of this region, and an alumnus of Utah State University, where he received both bachelor's and master's degrees and a Distinguished Alumni Award."

President Packer was born in Brigham City, Utah, Sept. 10, 1924. He was named an Assistant to the Twelve on Sept. 30, 1961; and sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve April 9, 1970. He has been acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve since June 5, 1994.

He and his wife, Donna Smith Packer, are parents of 10 children; they have 52 grandchildren.

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