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Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, Nolan E. Karras, R-Roy, told graduates of the College of Eastern Utah Friday to avoid rigid thinking and not be overly concerned with whatever is "in" at the moment.

Speaking at the morning exercises in the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center, where a total of 278 associate degrees and certificates of completion were awarded, Karras urged the graduates to entertain new ideas and not throw away old traditions and standards just because they conflict with ideas that are in vogue at the moment.Examples of good thinking from the past that might be used in today's society, Karras said, "are to love thy neighbor as thyself, for families to be responsible for themselves first instead of immediately relying on the government and to be of service to others."

Karras, who was presented an honorary doctorate degree, told the graduates, "don't get so caught up in getting there that you miss the fun of the ride."

The class valedictorian, Kirsten Hintze Christensen, told fellow graduates to make their lives extraordinary.

"Think for yourself, think big, think creatively and dare to be yourself," she said.

Other student speakers included Elizabeth Ann Morlan, Robert Barry Deeter, and Bradford L. Gwyther, student body president.

The Outstanding Faculty Award was given to instructor Michelle Fleck.