Graduates of Meridian School, a private school in its ninth year of "traditions of excellence that grow stronger every year," were told Friday to go into the world with a sense of self, ready to give back to the community in which they live.

Jerilyn Su McIntyre, vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Utah, said the graduates will need an anchor in the complex and constantly changing world ahead.She said without a sense of self and goals, it would be difficult to avoid a certain complacency. "I've heard it told," she said, "Don't let this be the last significant thing you do in your lives."

Find that self that is intrinsically you, she urged. Then share that self in ways that give back in some way.

"In seeking to become all we can be, we find self-fulfillment," she said. She told the 16 graduates to set significant goals, not to fear competition and to take pride in the achievements made so far.

"Use today to build a base for the future," she said.

Aileen Clyde, a member of the state Board of Regents for the Utah System of Higher Education, and grandmother to one of the graduates, said Mcintyre is one to emulate because she works constantly to help provide intellectual and practical skills for those interested in living a good life.

Headmaster Kevin Clyde said Meridian graduates can celebrate their success and hold to the school motto "There shall always be possibilities."

Stephen Robert Brady was the single student speaker, but each senior was individually honored in song and by teacher Brandon B. Bennett as he introduced the class.