Too much is at stake in the world for today's college graduates to live their lives without becoming involved, keynote speaker Karen Shepherd told Utah Valley Community College graduates during commencement exercises Saturday.
You will decide the course of your community, state, nation and world, she told the 1,075 graduates. Shepherd said the future depends on those who are educated and involved.Saturday's graduating class was one of the largest in the school's history. Graduates included students from 23 states and several foreign countries who earned a variety of one- and two-year degrees and certificates.
"What you decide to do in the aggregate is going to decide the future for all of us," said Shepherd, president of Webster Publishing and editor of Network and VII magazines. "You are the hope - our hope for a better future."
She said people can no longer sit idly by expecting to raise their families in a microcosm unaffected by events and people around them.
"I have found it impossible to be uninvolved, and I submit your lives are no different," Shepherd said. "You want what we all want. You want a quality life. But think about it. Quality does not just happen."
Whining is the least effective way to shape public policy, she said, urging graduates to roll up their sleeves, get to work and become active in making educated decisions.
"I want you to have opinions that have meaning for this world," she said. "Now is the time for you to fulfill the expectations of those who have invested in you."
Acting UVCC President Lucille Stoddard welcomed graduates and told them future generations will be influenced by their decision to get a college education.
"Once you learn, you have something that can't be taken from you," she said. But for knowledge to bear fruit, Stoddard told graduates, it must be combined with human dignity, which includes respect for self, others and the world.
"Whatever you achieve, achieve it ethically so dignity itself becomes a part of your own human endeavor," she said.
Additional speakers were former student body president Ben Gould, acting student body president Steve Stewart and valedictorian Mark Robbins.
Other valedictorians recognized Saturday were Norma Gould, Debra Ledingham, Gary Stringham and Jill Ann Young.
Gould encouraged graduates to be loyal to themselves, their fellow man and their country.
"If I could leave a message, I would say unto you to truly do all you can to make America one nation under God through loyalty," he said. "Do your very best in all your endeavors and maintain the highest level of integrity."
Robbins reminded graduates that learning doesn't end at graduation, and he stressed honesty and hard work.
"Work is the means by which we put our education into action," he said. "One who applies what he knows is infinitely more valuable than one who knows everything and does not apply it."
Stewart read a short essay by Robert Faughum, in which the author says all that people ever need to know in life they learned in kindergarten.
"It is still true. No matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together," he said. "And remember, graduates, hold onto you dreams. For they just might come true."
During commencement, the college presented Raymond Noorda, president of Novell Inc., an honorary associate of science degree.
Lisa Bond, student body activities vice president, gave the invocation.
And 1988-89 student body president Jim Woods gave the benediction. Bernice Williams provided prelude and postlude music, and the UVCC Program Bureau presented a musical selection.