The Brigham Young University Management Society honored Michael O. Leavitt, former U.S. secretary of health and human services, as the 2009 Distinguished Utahn during an awards ceremony held at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City May 15.__IMAGE1__"I am deeply appreciative of the chance to do the service that I have done," Leavitt said. "The people of Utah have graced my life in a way I will never forget and for which I will always be grateful."The program's theme, "Growing Moral and Ethical Leadership Around the World," celebrated Leavitt for his work in Utah, as well as his time working for the United States government.Some accomplishments mentioned during the event include Leavitt's involvement with establishing a program that prepares the country for a nationwide pandemic, his work in implementing new drug accessibility for the elderly and his involvement with preventing tainted drugs from entering the U.S.__IMAGE2__Leavitt served as United States secretary of health and human services from 2005-09, as United States Environmental Protection Agency administrator from 2003-05 and as Utah's governor from 1993-2003.Noting his involvement in the state of Utah, one of Leavitt's colleagues cited that more than anything else, his most impressive quality was his integrity."When you talk moral and ethical, that was at the top of his list of priorities," said Richard B. McKeown, Leavitt's professional associate. "He was a remarkable leader. He was visionary and had a remarkable focus."During the ceremony Leavitt was also honored in a letter from former U.S. President George W. Bush."In government and in business, Mike has distinguished himself as an executive who gets results," Bush's letter read. "His principle leadership has brought tremendous good to our country and the state of Utah. At every stage of his career, (he) has shown wisdom, foresight and a willingness to serve a cause greater than self."In addition to Leavitt's award, a scholarship in his name was awarded to Shannon Nelson, a senior from Alta High School for her example in leadership, community service and academic achievement.Past recipients of the Distinguished Utahn Award given by the BYU Management Society include Thomas S. Monson, current president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the late Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller; former BYU football coach LaVell Edwards; Lane Beattie, president of the Salt Lake Chamber and the late Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
BYU Management Society honors Leavitt