Tom Smart, Deseret News
The University of Utah board of trustees have chosen five people to receive honorary doctorate degrees at the university\'s commencement ceremonies in May.

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah board of trustees have chosen five people to receive honorary doctorate degrees at the university's commencement ceremonies in May.

“Honorary degrees are awarded by the university to those who have achieved unusual distinction in academic pursuits, in the arts, in the professions, in business, in government, in civic affairs or in service to the university,” said Keven Rowe, chairman of the Board of Trustees’ honors committee.

Dr. A. Lorris Betz will receive a doctorate of science. In February 2012, Utah Business Magazine named Betz one of the 100 Most Influential People in Utah. He has served twice as interim president of the university, most recently from May 2011 to March 2012.

Bishop H. David Burton will receive a doctorate in business. He is currently Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with responsibility for a significant portion of the church's financial investments and business affairs around the world. 

Wataru “Wat” Misaka will receive a doctorate of humane letters. He played on the U.'s 1944 NCAA championship basketball team and was the first player of Asian descent and first non-white person to play in the National Basketball Association. In 2010, he was featured in a documentary entitled “Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story.”

Jerilyn McIntyre will receive a doctorate of education. From 1977 to 2000, she served the university on the faculty as professor of communication, and in the administration as vice president for academic affairs, and twice as interim president.

Beverley Taylor Sorenson will receive a Doctorate of Fine Arts. In 1995 she founded Art Works for Kids, a teaching model that integrates arts into core subjects to improve learning for elementary school students. In 2008, the state Legislature directed approximately $16 million toward putting the integrated arts program into more than 50 elementary schools across the state. 

The awards will be presented at the annual commencement ceremonies held on Friday, May 4, 2012, in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.