Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Wilson doled out what he termed "hard, real-life advice" Saturday to graduates of the University of Phoenix.
Don't stick anything in your ears, Wilson told the class of 1988. You won't be able to hear, and it might affect your sense of balance.If you're a jogger, don't increase your mileage by more than 10 percent a week or you'll suffer sore muscles. To make a lot of money, work hard. To find success in love, wear nice clothes, smile a lot and know about the latest videocassettes.
Get enough bran in your diet so you won't be grumpy; nobody likes grumpy people. And always wear clean underwear, because you might be in an accident, just like your mother always warned you.
A good piece of advice for the graduate is not to murder anyone, Wilson said, because it can really slow down a promising career. The Legislature takes a dim view of such activities, and it could really hamper attempts to get a job, unless you intend to make license plates.
And, Wilson told the business graduates they should stay in Utah because the future of the state depends on the development of its human assets.
"We have plenty of humans in this state. We grow them well. Too often, we educate and prepare people for jobs in California and Massachusetts," he said.
Despite the state's dismal economy, in the future Utah's now-overcrowded schools and high birthrate will supply a labor force that will draw national businesses here.
"I believe there is no reason to despair. There is much to be hopeful about," said Wilson, who served as mayor of Salt Lake City for 10 years, and is now on leave from the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics. Wilson and businessman Merrill Cook are challenging Gov. Norm Bangerter in the November election.
Wilson reminded graduates that they have much in common with their pioneer forefathers, who had no guarantees when they set out to cultivate a desert.
Utahns must work together to restore a tax base and encourage business successes from within the state, Wilson said. State leaders must make long-range plans and provide tax incentives for businesses to avoid degenerating even further into a convenience store economy.
Wilson encouraged the graduates to build their lives in Utah, "the most beautiful place in the world.
"And the people of this state match that environment. They are tough. They are no-nonsense."
The University of Phoenix honored 237 graduates Saturday, the third commencement ceremony since the institution opened its Utah Division in 1984.
The ceremony in Symphony Hall featured traditional caps, gowns, tassels and hoods, but the students are anything but traditional, said Barbara Shelley, public relations spokeswoman. The institution awarded 149 bachelor's degrees and 88 master's degrees, all to working adults who attend night classes. Average age of the graduates is 37.