President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from the University of Utah for his years of service "to a religious organization and for his involvement in community and business affairs."

President Hinckley was one of six individuals to receive an honorary doctorate during the university's commencement exercises June 12.Others receiving honorary doctorates included Utah Gov. Norman Bangerter, Utah Sen. Jake Garn, educator Iver E. Bradley, Pulitzer Prize winner Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and Utah businessman and philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman.

President Hinckley was noted for his devotion to the Church in serving for many years in Church administration. He was sustained an Assistant to the Twelve in 1958 and ordained an apostle in 1961. He was called as a member of the First Presidency in 1982 to serve with President Spencer W. Kimball. In 1985 he was set apart as first counselor to President Ezra Taft Benson.

He serves on many boards including the Church board of education, as chairman of the Church Education Executive Committee, as a vice chairman of the boards of trustees of BYU and Ricks College, and as a member of the General Welfare Services Committee. He is chairman of the board of Deseret Management Corporation, Bonneville International Corporation, and other entities.

President Hinckley pioneered the public relations work of the Church, serving for 20 years as executive secretary of the Church Radio, Publicity and Literature Committee. He was also one of the pioneers in adapting modern electronic media to Church uses.