Dixie State graduates consider how to impact the world after graduation

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State University graduates were asked to consider the difference between their resumé virtues and eulogy virtues and decide which investment will pay off for the best as they begin a new chapter in life at the 104th commencement ceremony Friday.

Dixie State University Commencement Ceremony, Dixie State University M. Anthony Burns Arena, St. George, Utah, May 8, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Dixie State University Commencement Ceremony, Dixie State University M. Anthony Burns Arena, St. George, Utah, May 8, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

The promenade of excited alumni-to-be who made their way to the M. Anthony Burns Arena Friday morning comprised a graduating class of 1,870 students. Undeterred by the rain, the processional of educators and students dressed for success waved at family and friends who had gathered with cameras to commemorate the big event.

Honorary doctoral candidate Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer J. Cox took to the podium and offered the students a bit of sage advice cloaked in humor and wrapped in sincerity.

“Now some of you might have your wildest dreams come true,” Cox said. “But all of you, everyone in this room, will experience disappointment, pain and variables. As such … we need to spend less time focusing on the resumé virtues and more time focusing on the eulogy virtues.”

While the resumé virtues are important, Cox said, considering how the small choices individuals make every day impact and ripple to those around them makes much more of a difference in the world.

Dixie State University Commencement Ceremony, Dixie State University M. Anthony Burns Arena, St. George, Utah, May 8, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Dixie State University Commencement Ceremony, Dixie State University M. Anthony Burns Arena, St. George, Utah, May 8, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

As graduates move forward in their lives, he said, he encourages them to consider that if they take care of the eulogy virtues, the resumé virtues will take care of themselves along the way.

Sharing a story about a neighbor whose stage 4 cancer kept her from accomplishing the simplest tasks, Cox brought the room to tears. He told them about how one night his son asked if they could take one of her daughters to see The Avengers for her birthday. That night, a text came through:

“You made a very special girl’s dream come true. Something I simply could not do today. I will never, ever forget it. I love you.”

Dixie State University Commencement Ceremony, Dixie State University M. Anthony Burns Arena, St. George, Utah, May 8, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Dixie State University Commencement Ceremony, Dixie State University M. Anthony Burns Arena, St. George, Utah, May 8, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

Cox’s voice wavered and tears swelled from his eyes as the audience fell silent hanging on to his next words.

“It was then that I remembered,” he said. “You don’t change the world by meeting with the president and celebrities, you change the world by helping a little girl celebrate her birthday and find some light and joy in a very dark time.”

The sentiment was met with resounding applause from the audience of faculty, staff, administration, friends, family and graduates as many of them wiped the free-flowing tears from their face.

Along with Cox, Dr. Max H. Rose was also presented with an honorary doctorate degree at Friday morning’s commencement just before each student was presented with their hard-earned diploma.

As the morning’s events came to a close, all who were in the room were invited to participate in the tradition of singing the schools Alma Mater.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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