More than 240 men and women from the Utah Campus of the University of Phoenix received college degrees Saturday during graduation ceremonies at Symphony Hall.
Bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration, management, nursing and education were conferred on the sixth Utah class to graduate from the private university based in Phoenix, Ariz.Many of the graduates are working adults.
"I can't give the same address I gave a year ago (to Brigham Young University's College of Engineering graduates) because it's hard to lie to people who are in the real world," said commencement speaker Joseph A. Cannon, chairman and chief executive of Geneva Steel.
He commended the graduates' willingness to return to school and enhance their careers, saying such adaptability is a necessary for success.
"Don't limit yourself by your own preconceptions of what other people may think of you. Don't have boundaries on your dreams and aspirations," Cannon said.
Other ingredients for success, Cannon said, include contributing to the community and doing things that are important to you as an individual.
"I know of no great accomplishments that came solely from a cost-benefit analysis or just for money," he said. "Do things that bring you inner peace . . . only you know what that is."
Cannon was honored with an "Excellence in Management Award," as was Julie Beard, administrative services manager for 3M Corp. and 1988 Phoenix University graduate.
A "Distinguished Teaching Award" went to Franz Kolb, who teaches international business management and is deputy director of the state's International Business Development Office.
The "Distinguished Service Award" was given to Ron Konnick, a systems manager at Savage Industries, who has taught business research, quantitative analysis and math and the University of Phoenix since 1987.
Graduation addresses were offered by business administration graduates Mary Lynn Peshell, new business implementation coordinator at Alta Health Strategies, and Gregg Beardsley, a programmer at Unisys.
Both students, who earned bachelor's degrees in two years, praised the university's program that allows individuals to hold down jobs and care for a family while attending school.