College salutes Walker
June 5, 2005
Deseret Morning News
By Aaron Falk
When she failed to win her party's gubernatorial nomination last year, former Utah Gov. Olene Walker could have "been bitter, or pouted or turned nasty," said Westminster President Michael Bassis.
"She didn't do those things," he told the college's graduating class Saturday during its 130th commencement ceremony. "She forgot about the past and focused on what she could do for the future . . . and that's what today is about."
Focusing on the future, Walker, who was given an honorary doctorate for her efforts to improve education in the state, told graduates that "integrity, loving relationships and service" were the keys to a good life.
"I wish I could give you all the magic formula for fame, fortune and power," she said. "But those things don't always bring you happiness . . . and I feel I've found a formula for happiness.
"Power, fame and fortune are fleeting. Integrity, love and service are lasting qualities that will bring joy to your life."
Walker told students that "integrity should never be compromised. She also told graduates that, in addition to serving their community, they have an "obligation to public service."
About 650 students, ages 19-61, filed into the E Center Saturday morning to the sound of bagpipes and drums. In all, 493 bachelor's degrees and 164 master's degrees were presented.
A summa cum laude graduate with a bachelor of arts in economics, David Carlston said he acquired "significant knowledge and significant debt" during his time at Westminster College.
The "non-traditional student" who was 28 and married by the time he decided to go back to school and finish his degree was not always sold on the importance of an education, he said. But just getting his degree isn't enough now, he said, and he plans to earn a master's in business administration and a doctorate in management before becoming a business school professor.
"The world doesn't need more diplomas," he said. "It needs more people who will think about how things are, see things as they could be and then have the courage to do something."
The ceremony was held at an off-campus site for the first time in the school's history because of extensive construction under way on campus. Officials said they anticipate it would be the only commencement ceremony conducted off campus.