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Honorary degrees to be given to 4 Utah leaders at SLCC rites

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Four Utah leaders will receive honorary degrees during Salt Lake Community College's commencement exercises at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 13, at the Lifetime Activity Center at the college's Redwood Campus.

About 2,500 students are expected to receive associate degrees and certificates during the graduation ceremony.Honorees include billionaire industrialist and philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman, chairman and chief executive officer of Huntsman Corp. and Huntsman Chemical Corp. Huntsman serves on numerous corporate, civic and cultural boards, including the Board of Governors for the American Red Cross and is co-chairman of the National Prostate Cancer Coalition.

Others to receive honorary doctorate degrees include Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Maxwell has served in various capacities for the LDS Church since 1974, including commissioner of education for the Church Educational System.

He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Utah and has worked extensively as an educator and administrator. A prolific author, Elder Maxwell was executive vice president at the U. and worked in numerous administrative and teaching positions.

Renowned pianist Grant Johannsen also will be recognized with an honorary doctorate. In a career that spans 50 years, Johannsen has appeared with orchestras and symphonies worldwide, earning critical acclaim.

He recently performed the world premiere of "Pentameron," a piano concerto commissioned for Utah's 100th anniversary of statehood.

Johannsen also has served as a panelist with the National Endowment for the Arts and has judged many international piano competitions.

The final recipient of an honorary doctorate will be Jay L. Nelson, president of Utah Technical College at Salt Lake, now SLCC, from 1949 to 1978.

Under Nelson's leadership, the college grew from 700 students to more than 5,000. He oversaw the building of Redwood Campus, which now serves more than 14,000 students a year.

He has long been active in trade and technical education organizations and served as president of the Utah Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development.

He has been vice president of the Mountain States Association of Community Colleges and was a member of the Northwest Association for Secondary and Higher Schools Commission for Higher Education. He has worked extensively in the community, serving the Boy Scouts, Kiwanis Club and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.