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When Shauna Johnson enrolled at LDS Business College two years ago, she feared she'd flunk out the first quarter of school.

"I had dreams and hopes that seemed too high to reach for," Johnson said Thursday during the college's 104th-annual commencement exercises at Assembly Hall in Temple Square.One of the school's top graduates, Johnson credited her friends, family, teachers and God with helping her achieve academic success.

"I was able to build my self-confidence and self-esteem so that I could discover the person that I really am," she said. "Also, I was able make the thought `If you can believe it, you can achieve it, especially if God is on your side,' a part of my life."

Monte C. Nelson, president of Personal Business Management, Salt Lake City's H&R Block franchise was honored as the school's distinguished alumnus.

The tax preparation franchise was founded in 1956 by Dick and Henry Block. Three years later, they invited Nelson, a 1948 LDS Business College graduate, to become a lifetime franchise holder.

Since then, Nelson and his sons Michael and David have acquired 365 franchises in Australia and 288 in the United States. H&R Block Corp., including Nelson's franchises, made more than $210 million in annual revenues last year.

Academic Dean Carolyn Smith Brown presented the graduates, and College President Kenneth H. Beesley conferred the degrees.




Location: 411 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City

Graduates: 158

Student speakers: Vickie M. Anderson, Shauna G. Johnson, Troy D. Rogers and Steffanie VanderLinden

Associated Student Body officers: Michelle Sarette Barlow, president; Howard Eugene Hansen, vice president and Sharlynn Thompson, secretary/treasurer