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The 13th president of Snow College pledged at his inauguration Friday afternoon to renew the school's commitment to the "just, noble, God-blessed cause of a quality education for everyone."

"It is a just cause to develop within each individual a sense of personal worth, a sense of place within this global world," Gerald J. Day said.The democratic ideal of higher education opportunities for the masses, not just the privileged elite, was born in America and has flourished in the past four or five decades, Day said.

The 102-year-old Snow College, which was established by impoverished pioneers seeking an education and better life for their children, is "a testament to the success of that ideal," he said.

Quoting from "The Star Spangled Banner," Day said those committed to higher education must also stand to prevent the "war's desolation." He defined today's war as a moral one, the personal conflicts with hate, intolerance, ignorance and prejudice.

Through education, students - and society - can be victorious against these conflicts, gaining tolerance, understanding, love. Citizens can learn to live in peace and harmony, enjoy the bounties of nature undefiled by pollution and have a reasonable standard of living, Day said.

Day's speech came near the conclusion of the event, full of the trappings and ceremony of academia.

It began with a processional that included Day, the State Board of Regents, Snow Institutional Council, Commissioner of Higher Education Wm. Rolfe Kerr, State Superintendent of Public Instruction James Moss, other Utah college and university presidents and the Snow faculty.

Among the dignitaries participating in the inauguration were former Snow presidents Marvin Higbee and Steven Bennion. Day succeeded Bennion last October when Bennion became president of Ricks College, Rex-burg, Idaho.

Snow, the smallest of the state's nine colleges and universities, has 1,750 students.

Day received the presidential medallion from regent chairman Douglas Foxley.

Foxley charged Day with committing Snow to excellence in teaching in both academic and vocational education.

"Know that Snow's future excellence or mediocrity as a teaching institution will be measured not by its responsiveness to fads, buzzwords, or the latest educational model, but by what students learn and who they become - by the value that Snow College adds to their lives," Foxley said.

Foxley also told Day to seek private funds for the college, "which can provide the difference between true excellence and mere adequacy in your programs and offerings."

He mentioned that Snow, a residential college, needs a new student center as a focal point of student life.

Studentbody president Kyle Crump also touched on the need for a student center, calling it "of utmost importance. It will be in the second century what the Noyes (administration) building was in the first."

The higher education commissioner told Day that a truly great leader "knows more than anyone else, does more than anyone else and cares more than anyone else."

"You will not only work hard and long, but you must work smart, making sure that your efforts are focused on the highest priority matters and those which require presidential attention," Kerr said.