A member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a distinguished educator and administrator will both receive honorary doctorates during August Commencement Exercises Thursday, Aug. 14.
Elder Robert D. Hales will be presented with a doctor of Christian service and Stanley A. Peterson will be presented with a doctor of education at the commencement exercises, which will begin at 4 p.m. in the Marriott Center.
Elder Richard G. Scott, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ, will preside over and conduct the exercises, which will mark the first commencement for BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson.
The commencement exercises will be broadcast live on both KBYU-TV (Channel 11) and KBYU-FM (89.1).
An academic processional featuring the graduates and representatives of the BYU faculty and staff will leave the Abraham Smoot Building parking areas on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. Most campus offices will close that day at 2:30 p.m.
Individual College Convocations will be conducted on Friday, Aug. 15, at the following times and locations:
8 a.m.- David O. McKay School of Education, Smith Fieldhouse; Fine Arts and Communications, de Jong Concert Hall; Marriott School of Management, Marriott Center; Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom.
11 a.m.- Engineering and Technology, Smith Fieldhouse; Family, Home and Social Sciences (Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, School of Social Work and Sociology), Marriott Center; Nursing, Joseph Smith Building Auditorium.
2 p.m.- David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, de Jong Concert Hall; Family, Home and Social Sciences (School of Family Life), Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom; Health and Human Performance, Smith Fieldhouse; Humanities, Marriott Center.
5 p.m.- Biology and Agriculture, Marriott Center.
A President's Reception for graduates and their parents will also be conducted Friday from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Museum of Art.
Elder Hales grew up away from the center of the Church but was raised in an environment where dedication to the Church and its priorities was emphasized.
It was the guiding hand of his father and his experience as a Deacons' quorum president that helped him establish an early pattern of leadership and devotion to the Church.
Currently a member of the BYU Board of Trustees, Elder Hales served on the Board of Regents for the State of Utah for six years and has been a member of the University of Utah National Advisory Council for more than two decades.
President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has said of his associate, "Elder Hales has served in more positions as a General Authority than any other man in the history of the Church."
Elder Hales has had a varied and active life of service in the Church. On April 4, 1975, he was called to serve as an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and later as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy (1976–1985). While a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy he was Area Supervisor for Europe and later for the southwest area of the United States. In addition, he served as president of the England London Mission in 1978 and 1979.
In April 1985 he was called as Presiding Bishop, with responsibility for the temporal affairs of the Church. He served in that capacity until he was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in April 1994.
According to his citation, "One of the hallmarks of Elder Hales' life is his sterling work ethic. Not only is his capacity to work hard tremendous, but also he always puts colleagues at ease and brings out the best in people. One reason for his success is his desire to give others credit for their efforts."
Stanley A. Peterson learned that work is essential to happiness, and he filled not only his own and his family's lives with happiness but also was later able to bless students in the Church Educational System because of his commitment to the betterment of others.
Peterson's first full-time professional education position was in the West Covina California School District. He taught school during the day and pursued a master's degree in education administration from California State University at Los Angeles at night. During this time he also worked as a playground director for after-school activities and as a disk jockey for weekend dances. On top of all this, he was called as a stake missionary.
"I was so pleased to serve a stake mission since earlier I needed to contribute funds to my missionary brothers and other family needs instead of serving a full-time mission myself," he said.
His desire to continue his education led him to begin his doctorate, but this was interrupted by a calling as bishop to a ward of 960 that swelled to 1,140, including more than 250 youth and as many as forty-two missionaries serving at a time.
Two more times he began doctoral studies, and both times he was called as a bishop. As a result of his service at home, in ecclesiastical callings and in professional assignments, the desired but elusive doctorate was never realized.
In 1968, BYU President Ernest L. Wilkinson offered Peterson a position as the director of the BYU California Center for Continuing Education.
Newly appointed university president Dallin H. Oaks then invited Peterson to become the new dean of Continuing Education, where his leadership, dedication to work and loving influence would be felt by its 150,000 students.
Over the course of the next twenty-four years, Peterson traveled 4 million air miles and uncounted land miles to more than 160 countries so students, faculty and administrative personnel of the Church Educational System would know they were not alone in the mighty effort to teach gospel truths.
Individually and worldwide, Peterson has influenced millions of people in his lifelong service to the Church's educational efforts.
For more information on BYU commencement, visit the Web site http://www.byu.edu/graduation.
Writer: Elizabeth B. Jensen