Dixie College was built on "dreams of education for the common man," Dixie President Douglas Alder told the more than 700 students who received degrees during the school's 77th commencement exercises Saturday.
Alder said those dreams are as important in their own way as tax support from legislators."In this isolated corner of the great American desert, Dixie College is providing access to classes and culture, the finest thinking in the contemporary world, indeed the best that civilization has to offer."
Alder said year's commencement marked the largest in the college's history. In his welcoming remarks, Alder took note of the progress the college has made and talked about plans for new buildings and future growth.
Boyd F. Schenk, vice chairman of I.C. Industries, a multi-national corporation based in Chicago, gave the commencement address and received an honorary degree from the college.
Schenk, who began his career at a milk production plant in Idaho in 1947, reminded graduates of their obligation to serve others. He offered five basic lessons to graduates embarking on their careers.
"First, contrary to what you have heard and read, most corporate executives are honest, hard-working people."
He said the fact that many executives serve on task forces to solve inner-city problems and on other boards is an example of the decency and caring spirit of most U.S. executives.
Schenk said secondly, executives aren't in it for the money alone. "I don't know of a single corporate executive who made it his goal to be rich. I know I didn't.
Schenk said a third lesson is that those whose goal is to achieve power and wealth usually end up "poor and powerless."
He said the primary goal of business is not to make a profit, but to provide the highest-quality products and services to the customer at the lowest cost.
Finally, he said, the American business system is the most successful in the world, despite its problems.
"Our system created 13 million new jobs in the last six years," Schenk said. "That's more than all of Europe combined in the last 10 years."
He encouraged students to make positive changes in organizations where change is needed.
"My challenge to you is this: If you feel that the organization has no soul, bring it soul. If you feel it lacks social consciousness, bring it social consciousness."
Robert Lund, one of the valedictorians, said his graduation fulfills a request made by his mother before her death several years ago.
Charlotte Rene Fuller, a single mother of five and the other valedictorian, said that while she would never be found at a women's liberation rally, she feels women should fulfill their nature and their inclinations.