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Courtesy LDS Business College
President J. Lawrence Richards, the 12th president of LDS Business College, and his wife, Sister Julie Richards.

LDS Business College commencement will begin Friday, April 14, 2017 at 10 a.m. in the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square. It will be conducted by J. Lawrence Richards, the 12th president of the College. It will be President Richards’ last day at the College, concluding his eighth year of presidency. He will then assume the role as Director of Special Projects for the Church Education System under Elder Kim B. Clark, Church Commissioner of Education.

Elder Craig C. Christensen, General Authority Seventy and member of the Presidency of the Seventy, will be the commencement speaker. He has served in leadership positions throughout the Western Hemisphere. Elder Christensen previously worked in the retail automotive, insurance and real estate development industries and with an international accounting and consulting firm based in San Francisco, California.

St. George resident and state senator Don L. Ipson has been selected by LDS Business College to receive its Distinguished Alumni Award. The award honors former students who have distinguished themselves in service to their families, professions, communities and the Church. It is the highest honor given by the College.

“I am impressed with Don’s humility, wisdom and his great desire to serve,” said college President Richards. “He has effectively combined faith, service to family, service to his chosen profession, and service to his community, which parallels the mission of the college to enlighten minds, elevate hope and ennoble souls.”

Brother Ipson attended LDS Business College from 1966–1968, studying accounting and business administration. His education prepared him for his first job at Zions Bank in Salt Lake City. A year later he was transferred to St. George, Utah, to be an assistant branch manager there.

Following a decade of work in the banking industry, Brother Ipson bought a small food distribution business in Panguitch, Utah. In 1988 he co-founded DATS Trucking with a single truck. Today, he is president and CEO of the company, which operates 250 tractors and 850 trailers in 15 cities in five western states.

Brother Ipson became a senator in the Utah State Senate in January 2017. Before that he served for eight years in the Utah House of Representatives. While there, he served as chair for the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee.

Brother Ipson is the director of the Washington County Economic Development Committee, the director and former chair of Dixie Applied Technology College, a regional board member of Zions Bank, and the former president of two trucking associations. He is also an honorary colonel for the Utah Highway Patrol, and he has served as a humanitarian short-term specialist for the LDS Church’s clean water program.

For 130 years, LDS Business College has honored students who have sought to enter the workforce with a two-year degree or one-year certificate with little or no student debt. This year is no exception, as the College will award 548 two-year degrees and 113 certificates to its students.

Graduates range in age from 18 to 67, and hail from all 50 U.S. states and some 60 other countries. They represent a number of skills-based programs, including business and accounting, interior design, social media marketing, medical assisting and coding, and information technology and cybersecurity.

LDS Business College helps students achieve self-reliance in a Christ-centered environment. The College teaches 2,200 students each semester. Nearly 90 percent of students obtain a job in the field in which they are trained within 90 days of graduation.

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