PROVO — In this topsy-turvy world of political and economic upheaval, newfangled technology and the expanding sway of Hollywood, there is a call being sounded for leaders with integrity.
That's what Kim B. Clark sees.
And Clark, dean of Harvard's business school, said Thursday that Brigham Young University graduates have received the academic and ideological training necessary to become the great leaders of the 21st century.
"All organizations — and the people in them — need the strength and power that come from principles," Clark said during fall commencement exercises at the school owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"It's your call to be a light of the world — your call to be a leader," said Clark, who was awarded an honorary doctorate degree of business and public service from BYU.
Also receiving an honorary doctorate was Lucille Tate, biographer of LDS Church apostles Boyd K. Packer, David B. Haight and the late LeGrand Richards. Tate, a former BYU English instructor, said she wanted to give a 10-word "gift" to graduates: "Work in place of worry, faith in place of fear."
"Those words sustained me through each book I have written," she said during a short talk at the Marriott Center. "And they must again sustain me if I am to complete my last biography, because I am 87 and only on chapter three."
Longtime BYU administrator Ben E. Lewis and Arline and Leon "Pete" Harmon, the first Utah Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise owners and major donors to BYU, earned Presidential Citations.
At convocation ceremonies Friday, 2,756 students are expected to receive bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. It is BYU's largest summer graduating class.
In all, 9,180 students have graduated from BYU in this academic year, the largest in the history of the institution, said President Merrill J. Bateman.
Among outgoing classes — made up of students from 49 states and 48 foreign countries — was Benjamin O. Austin, a 15 year old from Elk Ridge who graduates with a degree in business administration. The oldest graduate, 65-year-old Lorimer T. Christensen, earned a degree in chemistry.
Elder Packer, acting president of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, made the graduates a promise that "if you will live the gospel you will be happy."
Elder Haight, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who has lived in every decade of the 20th century, told graduates not to change their values as the world changes through the years.
"Act the way you should, live your life the way you should," he said. "Make the world a better place as a result of your life."