Westminster College Commencement Website
Commencement 2008 Speakers

Here are our 2008 honorees!


Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. was the honored speaker for the college’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 1:45 p.m. at the E Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

Governor Huntsman will also be presented an honorary Doctorate of Public Service. Ty Harrison, PhD, Westminster College Professor Emeritus, will be awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science at the commencement.

Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. – Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient: In addition to being a husband and father of seven, Governor Huntsman has been a businessman (chairman of Huntsman Corporation and CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation), a diplomat (Ambassador to Singapore), a public servant in Washington (including stints as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce), and now Governor of Utah...all before reaching the age of 50.

But even more impressive than the offices he has held are the things he has accomplished. He has used his skills as a businessman to reform government and now the Pew Center recognizes Utah as the best-governed state in the nation. He has used his experience in Washington and Singapore to encourage and assist business in Utah to develop trade and strategic partnerships around the globe. His focus on economic development recognizes that “economic prosperity and quality education for our children are inexorably linked.” Westminster is proud to work with Governor Huntsman and delighted to recognize him as a friend of the college.

Ty Harrison - Honorary Degree Recipient:

Ty Harrison taught in the Biology Department at Westminster College for 20 years. In the classroom, he developed and delivered courses ranging from introductory biology to field ecology. But throughout his tenure at the college, few people saw Harrison in the classroom. He was usually seen out in the field, working with students and analyzing the world around him.

The board of trustees called Harrison “the voice of the environment at Westminster” and noted his role in “the campus green landscaping plan, preservation of Emigration Creek as a teaching/learning resource, development of the interdisciplinary science curriculum, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the new science building.” His contributions to the broader Salt Lake community were equally significant. But they are all overshadowed by Harrison’s ability to help students see, as one put it, “how everything in life has a purpose and all work together.”