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Performing volunteer acts of kindness and service, whether large or small, helps the individual become whole and society to flourish, Michael A. Petersen told members of the College of Eastern Utah Class of 1996 Friday morning.

"I urge all of you to make volunteer service to your community an important part of your life," he said. "With many people hungry and impoverished, with threats of crime and vandalism, and many children not getting the love and support they desperately need, we cannot lead lives for ourselves alone."Petersen, who is leaving CEU after 11 years as president, delivered the keynote address at commencement ceremonies in Bunnell-Dmit-rich Athletic Center. He and his wife, Geraldine Grange Peter-sen, were given honorary degrees.

Presenting the honorary degrees were Robert Swineburne, former chairman of the CEU board of trustees, and current chairman Adrien Taylor, Moab.

Responding to the award, Geri Petersen, who has been director of the Castle Country Volunteer Service Service Center along with helping promote many cultural events, told graduates and their families, "Don't underestimate your ability to make positive change."

She said CEU is more her family than just a college where her husband has been president. She and her husband and all three of their children have been students at CEU.

In introducing Petersen as keynote speaker, Boyd Bunnell, vice chairman of the CEU board of trust-ees, told graduates the retiring president has "a love for the school and each and every one of you."

Michael Petersen recalled how he came to CEU as an 18-year-old freshman. "I loved CEU as a student. I had great fun. I was challenged intellectually and aca-demically by the faculty. I left two years later with a solid foundation for my future academic work that took me to the University of California, Berkeley and to a doctorate at Ohio State University."

He returned to CEU in 1980 as a teacher.

In continuing his theme of volunteer service, he said, "CEU is the first community college in Utah to encourage students to participate in volunteer service projects by offering service learning recognition within the associate degree graduation requirements and a service learning class."

He introduced Stay C. Gun-derson as the first student to complete the service learning requirements of the associate degree, adding that one does not need to have a position, degree or special skill to serve, but only needs to care.

He said service makes a person feel good, builds character, creates lasting friendships and gives a broader knowledge of the world. It can be an organized effort or random acts of kindness, he said.

Petersen said the words of John F. Kennedy spoken three decades ago in his inaugural address ring true today. He quoted the former president, "It is time for a new generation of leadership to cope with new problems and new opportunities. For there is a new world to be won."

"As new graduates, you have learned much and you have much to offer. Now, in the words of Maya Angelou, `Ain't nothin' to it but to do it,' " he said.

Short addresses were given by Peter Ted Deffendol and Steven McKay Price, co-valedictorians; Sharlene Chiaretta, salutatorian, and Stephanie Leigh Jensen, student body president. The chamber choir, directed by Russell Wilson sang "Utah." Norman Larsen, CEU faculty member, presented graduates with diplomas for associate degrees and certificates of completion were awarded by members of the Utah State Board of Regents. A reception followed at the fountain plaza.