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In his address to graduates at Snow College commencement exercises Saturday morning, Elder Russell M. Nelson told of the shoulders on which he stands.

"My great-great-grandparents came as Danish converts to the Sanpete Valley," said Elder Nelson, a member of the Council of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "They were sent by President Brigham Young, who believed that Scandinavian settlers could better stand the cold Sanpete winters."They exhibited a virtue you graduates will need," he said, "courage in the face of adversity." But he spoke of other virtues, too.

One of them is balance, he said, a proper mix of both knowledge and wisdom. "Achievement and industry go hand in hand," he added. "Education enables us to escape from the shackles of superstition."

One of the challenges graduates will face, Elder Nelson said, is change. But some things do not change, among them, an obedience to divine law, a commitment to the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, he said.

During the exercises in the Activities Center, Snow President Gerald Day awarded an honorary degree to Elder Nelson, who, he said - in evident reference to the apostle's career as a thoracic surgeon - "has touched a thousand hearts."

Honorary degrees also went to Ross and Linnie Findley, Ephraim, and Albert Antrei, Manti.

Day praised Antrei, a retired teacher, for his contributions to the preservation of the local heritage and the Findleys for their services to education, the community and their church.

Lynnell Fullerton, Gunnison, a mother of four children and one of two co-valedictorians with 4.0 GPA, said the people of Central Utah should be proud for having Snow College in their midst.

"For me," she said, "college has represented opportunity, the chance to become a nurse."

Brian R. Soisy, Richfield, the other valedictorian, said Snow's real advantage for students is the small size of its classes. "I never knew a Snow teacher who didn't take personal interest in his students," he said.

At the baccalaureate service Friday night, three students representing minority cultures - Yukimi Oisha, from Japan; De-wayne Sanders, a black youth from Los Angeles; and Semisa Ulave, of Polynesian descent - took the role of the traditional speaker.

They agreed that the ethnic and cultural diversity at Snow have enriched their educational experience and added another dimension to their lives.

Richard L. White, vice president for instruction, presented the 611 graduates, the largest in the college's history, and Gary L. Carlston, chairman of the board of trustees, awarded diplomas.