Elder Maxwell given honorary doctorate

During an informal presentation in his office Sept. 2, Elder Neal A. Maxwell received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Salt Lake Community College.

Elder Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve was scheduled to receive the honorary degree at the college's commencement exercises June 13, but was unable to attend the graduation ceremonies.College Pres. Frank W. Budd; Bonnie Jean Beesley, chairwoman of the Salt Lake Community College Board of Trustees; and Randall A. Mackey, vice chairman of the school's Board of Trustees, presented Elder Maxwell with the honor, paying tribute to his career as a lifelong educator.

Elder Maxwell received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Utah and taught there as an assistant professor. He later became executive vice president of the university and served on the Utah State Board of Regents.

In 1970, Elder Maxwell became Church Commissioner of Education. After serving as an Assistant to the Twelve and in the Presidency of the Seventy, he was sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve in 1981.

"You have been good to so many people through the years," Pres. Budd told Elder Maxwell.

Speaking of the Board of Trustees' decision to honor Elder Maxwell, Chairwoman Beesley said, "

HeT represents many qualities we would hope to highlight for our students and the community at large. He has a strong interest in education and has been involved for many years as a teacher and administrator. . . . We hope our students will look at his life and try to follow him."

In addition to Elder Maxwell, the college also presented honorary doctorates to industrialist Jon M. Huntsman; renowned pianist Grant Johannesen; and Jay L. Nelson, former president of Utah Technical College at Salt Lake, now SLCC.

During the informal gathering in which Elder Maxwell received the honorary degree, he talked with the group about the school, its increasing enrollment and friendly credit transfer policy.

"[The community college] is an option that will become increasingly attractive and increasingly relevant," Elder Maxwell noted.

Speaking of his great appreciation for the honorary degree from the institution, Elder Maxwell said, "I will treasure this and display it."

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