Saying that he had "felt God on this campus," a nationally prominent educator delivered the featured address at the 113th Commencement services at BYU honoring summer graduates Aug. 12."This is my third visit to Brigham Young University within 18 months, and I must tell you I have found on this exquisite campus a rare blend of intellectual rigor and deep religious faith," said Dr. Ernest L. Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, based in Princeton, N.J.
"May I state it quite directly: I have felt God on this campus, and I pray that the spirit of this great university will continue to give you faith and inspiration in the days and years ahead," said Boyer, who is also education columnist for the New York Times and a former U.S. Commissioner of Education and chancellor of the State University of New York.
Ardeth G. Kapp, general president of the Young Women organization and a member of the BYU Board of Trustees, conducted the summer commencement. She and university Pres. Jeffrey R. Holland each delivered greetings to the assembly.
President Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve, also a member of the board of trustees, attended the services, as did Harold F. Western, associate Church Commissioner of Education.
In her greeting, Sister Kapp noted that degrees were being conferred upon 2,165 students, among them candidates for 45 associate degrees, 1,700 bachelor's degrees and 365 master's degrees, and that the ceremonies brought the university's total number of graduates to 159,361.
Boyer, the commencement speaker, received an honorary doctorate in humanities. It was noted that four students were graduating from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, and that two Reserve Officer Training Corps students would receive military commissions.
Pres. Holland awarded presidential citations to Robert J. and Lola N. Smith, and Lila Burton Bjorklund for their civic, professional and religious accomplishments.
During Smith's career at BYU, he served as assistant professor, professor, Accounting Department chairman, acting dean for the College of Business, associate academic vice president, financial vice president, administrative vice president, and comptroller during the construction of the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.
Sister Smith has been active in the Pennies by the Inch drive for the Primary Children's Medical Center, and has filled many positions for BYU Women. Sister Bjorklund developed Utah Girl's Village, a sanctuary for abused, neglected and ungovernable girls. She also has been active in the Utah PTA, in which she was influential in legislation on child abuse and neglect, driver education, school lunches and education funding.
In his greeting, Pres. Holland quoted Boyer's writings, in which the educator called for "discipline of mind, knowledge adequately comprehended, and values effectively conveyed."
Pres. Holland then declared: "Those are BYU priorities. Indeed, our institutional wish for you and the world into which you now go is that you certainly will have in Boyer's wordsT `a powerful impact for human betterment' with every personal contact you make in every community - local, national or global - in which you have an influence. To prepare you for that task, we have tried to equip you with superb intellectual skill grounded in profound religious faith."
Earlier in his address, the university president remarked that the youngest graduate in the class, Laura Elizabeth Dursteler, 21, was celebrating her birthday that day. He said the oldest graduate, M. Lucille Boren, 61, was gradating in elementary education, and that the public school system would get "one heck of a determined teacher."
In her concluding remarks, Sister Kapp issued this challenge to the graduates: "Keep the dream alive as you take the `spirit of the Y' to a world that so urgently needs it. Just as I have challenged hundreds and thousands of young people throughout the world, I say to you, as young scholars, serve well - but above all, stand for truth and righteousness. Yes, keep the dream alive so that all with whom you come in contact will know of our great cause."