In a departure from the traditional commencement week format in which invited guest speakers give formal addresses at the baccalaureate and commencement programs, four members of the graduating class will make brief remarks at Snow College exercises this weekend.
"The committee felt that this should be the graduates' day," said Dean O'Driscoll, chairman, "that they should have this opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings."In accordance with that decision, Nicole Lynd Draper, Ephraim, the class salutatorian with a 3.98 grade point average, will speak for her classmates. And joining her on the podium will be Brian Larsen, Christianburg, Va., who this year earned a national title in fashion merchandising.
They will share the spotlight at the baccalaureate services Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Activity Center.
The members of the graduating class who will speak at the commencement program at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Activity Center are Kristen Jill Kemerer, Salt Lake City, who won national honors as a member of the forensics team, and Noelapoomaikalani Ione, who prefers that her name be shortened to Neola.
Ione grew up in Western Samoa, but now lives with an aunt in close-by Fairview. She is the class valedictorian with a 4.0 grade point average. "I won't talk as long as my name," she promised.
"We don't need to import anyone to speak, we have some of the most talented people in the county right here," O'Driscoll said. "Commencement week is for them."
In addition to honoring the class of '96, the Saturday morning exercises will honor several other people. President Jerry Day will present honorary doctorate degrees to Morgan and Helen Dyreng, Manti; Kay L. McIff, Richfield; and Darol B. and Thora J. Rasmussen, Cameron Park, Calif.
The Rasmussens, noted for their philanthropy, have given the bell tower and other gifts to Snow. The Dyrengs have been involved with the production of the Mormon Miracle Pageant since its first year and with other civic and church programs.
McIff, a 6th District judge, is a Manti High School, Snow College and University of Utah graduate and is active in central Utah church, legal and civic organizations.
The graduating class of about 500 will be presented by Richard White, vice president for academic affairs, and awarded diplomas by Mark Stoddard, chairman of the Snow College of board trustees.
One tradition, however, will still be observed: the procession of officials, faculty and students from the Noyes Building to the Activity Center arrayed in their caps and gowns.