Commencement activities announced

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    One of America’s most distinguished journalists and a world-recognized business leader and philanthropist will receive honorary doctoral degrees during BYU’s Commencement exercises April 23 and 24.

    Roger Rosenblatt, editor of U.S. News and World Report, and Sir John Marks Templeton, founder of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion as well as the John Templeton Foundation, will be featured guests and speakers at the Commencement, which will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday in the Marriott Center.

    In addition, Presidential Citations will be awarded to Beverly Campbell, LDS Church goodwill ambassador, Edward L. Hart, distinguished poet and emeritus BYU English professor and Merlin and Edna Sant, philanthropists and long-time friends of BYU.

    More than 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students are expected to receive degrees during the two-day event.

    The Commencement exercises will be under the direction of Elder Henry B. Eyring, LDS Church Commissioner of Education and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the LDS Church. Commencement will also feature BYU President Merrill J. Bateman and members of the BYU administration, faculty and student body.

    David Holland, a history major from Bountiful, who is a recent recipient of a prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, will be the student speaker.

    The Commencement exercises will begin at 3:15 p.m. Thursday in the Abraham Smoot parking lots with the traditional academic processional to the Marriott Center.

    Music for the event will be provided by the BYU Chamber Orchestra under the direction of David Dalton.

    On Friday, individual college convocations will begin at 8 a.m. with the David O. McKay School of Education in the Smith Fieldhouse, Fine Arts and Communications (School of Music, Music/Dance/Theatre and Visual Arts graduates) in the de Jong Concert Hall, the Marriott School of Management in the Marriott Center and Physical and Mathematical Sciences in the Wilkinson Center Ballroom.

    At 10:30 a.m., convocations will include Engineering and Technology in the Smith Fieldhouse, Fine Arts and Communications (Communications and Theatre and Media Arts graduates) in the de Jong Concert Hall, Humanities in the Marriott Center, Nursing in the Joseph Smith Auditorium and the J. Reuben Clark Law School in the Provo Tabernacle at 100 South University.

    At 1 p.m., the convocations are Biology and Agriculture in the Smith Fieldhouse and Family, Home and Social Sciences in the Marriott Center, followed at 3:30 p.m. by Health and Human Performance in the Smith Fieldhouse.

    A President’s Reception for graduates and their parents featuring President Bateman and his wife, Marilyn, will be conducted Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Museum of Art.

    On Saturday, April 25, ROTC officers will be commissioned at 10 a.m. in the Wilkinson Center’s Varsity Theater.

    A journalist, author, playwright and teacher, Rosenblatt received degrees from New York University and Harvard, where he received a Ph.D. in American literature and was a Fulbright Scholar to Ireland in 1965-66.

    His distinguished career includes stints as director of education for the National Endowment for the Humanities, editorial writer and columnist for The Washington Post and a senior writer for Time Magazine. He is also a regular contributor to Atlantic Monthly and the Public Broadcasting Systems’s News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

    Honors include two George Polk Awards in Journalism, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, the George Foster Peabody Award and an Emmy. Five other universities have awarded Rosenblatt honorary degrees. William Safire called Rosenblatt’s work “some of the most profound and stylish writing in America today.”

    Templeton is a graduate of Yale and Oxford universities and was a pioneer in the field of mutual funds investing. His business success led to his creating the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religions, a move prompted by his realization that progress was being honored in literature, science and medicine but not in spiritual and religious research. His Prize for Progress in Religion acknowledges individuals who link frontier thinking in religion with scientific thought.

    The success of the Templeton Prize encouraged him to form the John Templeton Foundation, which funds 40 programs focused in science and religion, spirituality and health and education. The Foundation also awards a $10,000 prize to as many as 100 colleges and universities that develop and offer outstanding courses in science and religion. Another $10,000 prize is awarded to five U.S. medical schools that offer courses in the valuable, but often overlooked role of spirituality in patient care.

    In addition, BYU is proud to be part of a Templeton Foundation-sponsored directory of U.S. colleges and universities that adhere to very specific set of moral guidelines in their curriculum and administration.

    Templeton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1987 for his extensive philanthropic efforts and was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal by the Royal Society for the Arts, Manufacture and Science for his work in furthering Anglo-American relations.

    Campbell, recognized as the LDS Church’s “ambassador to the ambassadors,” has for many years played a significant role in how the Church, BYU and Church members have been viewed by the world.

    She has worked with the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation in establishing the Special Olympics, and as an assistant director of public affairs for the Church has appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and Larry King Live. She has served on the boards of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Religion in American Life and the Child Survival Foundation.

    Hart, a native of Bloomington, Idaho, went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Utah and attend Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, eventually obtaining Ph.D. there as well as a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan. A master teacher, he is the author of the well-received “Minor Lives” as well as a series of significant poems and scholarly articles.

    A highly successful contractor in the Los Angeles area, Merlin Sant, along with his wife of more than 70 years, Edna, have given significant service to the Church through missionary and temple work. Their recent generosity to BYU’s Center for the Family will help endow that program in its efforts to promote the ideals of the LDS Church’s “Proclamation on the Family.”

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