Spencer F. Eccles, chairman and chief executive officer of First Security Corp., will be the keynote speaker at Utah State University's 103rd commencement exercises.
Eccles will also receive an honorary degree at the ceremonies, which begin with the traditional academic procession at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8, in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.Speakers will be introduced and honorary degrees presented beginning at 9:30 a.m. Graduation ceremonies for each of USU's eight academic colleges will follow during the afternoon.
In addition to Eccles, honorary degrees will be conferred upon Elder Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Kent W. Colton, a national housing leader; Amos "Joe" Jordan Jr., a retired brigadier general and inter-na-tional security strategist; and R. Dean Plowman, a former top U.S. government agricultural official.
One of Utah's foremost business and civic leaders, Eccles has served on numerous corporate boards of directors and in civic organizations. He helped lead successful efforts to expand the Salt Palace and bring the 2002 Winter Games to Utah.
Elder Packer, who holds two degrees from USU, has been a noted religious leader for four decades and a general authority of the LDS Church since 1961. He has au-thored several books and helped supervise the church's educational efforts.
Colton, a former USU student body president, is executive vice president of the National Association of Home Builders. Based in Washington, D.C., Colton frequently testifies before Congress and other government bodies on housing policy.
Jordan, the former head of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has been a national security adviser to several U.S. presidents, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the departments of state and defense. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal and other honors.
Plowman, a USU graduate and former USU department head, was administrator of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service. As an acting deputy secretary of agriculture in the Clinton administration, Plowman has played a key role in preserving the traditional extension service mission of the land grant colleges and universities.