Elder Steven E. Snow, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is scheduled to be the presiding authority and speaker during Brigham Young University's Commencement Exercises on Thursday, April 23, at 4 p.m., in the Marriott Center. BYU President Kevin J Worthen will conduct the exercises.
Two honorary degrees will be conferred during the exercises:
- Former BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Education and Christian Service degree. (See below for bio)
- Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and founder and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Law and Moral Values degree. (See below for bio)
The student speaker for the commencement will be Ryan T. Barrett, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. Barrett is from Salt Lake City and has been accepted into the mechanical engineering graduate program at BYU.
A total of 5881 students from 10 colleges will be receiving degrees at the ceremonies, with 5004 students receiving bachelor's degrees, 692 students receiving master's degrees and 185 receiving doctoral degrees. (Numbers as of April 7, 2015.)
Tickets are not required for commencement or for college convocations.
Commencement exercises will be broadcast live on BYU TV, BYU Radio, Classical 89 KBYU-FM and byutv.org.
Thursday, April 23 Commencement Schedule
- 2 p.m.: Marriott Center doors open
- 2:30 p.m.: Closing time for most campus offices
- 3 p.m.: Graduates meet in the parking lot on the north side of the Smoot Administration Building (ASB)
- 3:15 p.m.: Family, friends and guests of the graduates should be seated in the Marriott Center. Faculty members are invited to march in the processional; meet on the east or west side of the ASB (in the event of inclement weather, faculty should go directly to the Marriott Center by 3:45 p.m.).
- 3:20 p.m. Processional of the graduates begins
- 4-5:30 p.m.: Commencement in the Marriott Center
Friday, April 24 College Convocation Schedule
- 8-10:30 a.m.
Family, Home, and Social Sciences (Marriott Center)
Education (Smith Fieldhouse)
Physical and Mathematical Sciences (Ballroom, Wilkinson Student Center)
Kennedy Center (Auditorium, Joseph Smith Building)
Fine Arts and Communications: Art, Design (de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center)
Religious Education (W111, Benson Building)
- 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Meet the President Reception - President Kevin J Worthen and his wife Peggy will meet and congratulate the graduates and their parents. (Assembly Hall, Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center)
- 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Life Sciences (Marriott Center)
Engineering and Technology (Smith Fieldhouse)
Nursing (Auditorium, Joseph Smith Building)
Fine Arts and Communications: Dance, Music, Musical Dance Theatre, Theatre and Media Arts (de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center)
- 2-4:30 p.m.
Humanities (Marriott Center)
Technology (Ballroom, Wilkinson Student Center)
Fine Arts and Communications: Communications (de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center)
- 5-7:30 p.m.
Marriott School of Management (Marriott Center)
Law School (de Jong Concert Hall, Harris Fine Arts Center)
The Army ROTC will be commissioning seven cadets on Thursday at 11 a.m. in W408 and W410 of the N. Eldon Tanner Building. Major General Peggy C. Combs will speak at the ceremony.
The Air Force ROTC will hold its commissioning ceremony for 16 cadets on Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Wilkinson Student Center Varsity Theatre. Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Amos Jordan will speak at the ceremony.
For additional information about graduation at BYU: graduation.byu.edu
About the Speaker
Elder Steven E. Snow was called in March 2001 as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served from 2007 to 2012 as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.
Currently he is Church Historian and Recorder as well as executive director of the Church History Department. "I love learning the stories of the history of our people," says Elder Snow. He enjoys exploring recently uncovered records and journals of Church history and also capturing the Church's international story. "Members outside the U.S. love the history of the Church in North America," he says, "but they also resonate with the stories of the pioneers in their own lands."
A native of St. George, Utah, Elder Snow married Phyllis Squire. Sister Snow says her husband is an exceptional leader because he loves all people. He is interested in hearing from all sides and then is able to guide the discussion to a conclusion in which everyone feels they were listened to and their needs were met. This quality served him well in his law practice as he often helped clients work through their problems without always having to resort to the courts.
Elder Snow relishes reading a physical newspaper. He loves the feel and the smell of the news. He also enjoys the outdoors, though he has found himself hiking miles on a broken foot, being caught in a flash flood, or rolling down a sandstone hill. Still, he looks forward to each new adventure with his sons, friends, or grandchildren. When he is around, his grandchildren invariably hear adventurous bedtime stories that feature grandchildren saving the day at the last minute.
Having always had an active interest in education, he has an accounting degree from Utah State University and a juris doctorate from Brigham Young University. "I have felt there was no better cause than furthering opportunities for education among our children and young adults," says Elder Snow, who has served as president of a school board, chair of the Utah State Board of Regents, and chair of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
In 2012 President Obama appointed Elder Snow to the advisory council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He is the first Latter-day Saint to have a seat on this council. People often tell Sister Snow how much they enjoy working with Elder Snow because he "gets it." His love, leadership, and friendly nature leave people feeling valued. Sister Snow says Elder Snow loves meeting new people and learning from their experiences.
About the Honorary Degree Recipients
Cecil O. Samuelson will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Education and Christian Service degree.
From 2003 until 2014, Samuelson worked tirelessly as president of BYU, leaving a high watermark of leadership and service for the BYU community.
Samuelson graduated from the University of Utah with a medical degree and a master's degree in educational psychology. After a fellowship at Duke, he returned to the University of Utah to work as the assistant dean of admissions and as a faculty member at the medical school.
In 1990, he became a high-level administrator at Intermountain Healthcare, and just four years later he was called as a member of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving as president of the Church's Europe North and Utah North Areas, as the Sunday School general president, and as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.
He is being honored for his extraordinary service to BYU, for his furthering of the profession of "the Healer's art," and for his service as a faithful Church leader.
Robert P. George will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Law and Moral Values degree.
George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and founder and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and has served as chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
After graduating from Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, George earned a master's degree in theology from Harvard and a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford University.
George often voices his conservative political views through writing, and his byline has landed in many scholarly and journalistic outlets, such as the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He has authored and coauthored several books, including Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality and What Is Marriage?
Through his pervasive and persuasive writings, George has ensured religion and morality remain an important consideration in the public conversation. He is a sharp thinker, an educator, leader, devout Catholic, truth seeker and supporter of family values.
Writer: Nate Depperman