Jon M. Huntsman, Jr.
Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., will devliver the commencement address for Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah on April 28.
The former two-term governor of Utah is fresh off the campaign trail as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He left the race in January.
"We are deeply honored to have Governor Huntsman join us on such a momentous occasion," said USU Eastern Chancellor Joe Peterson. "He brings with him a wealth of state and international knowledge that is truly unique. The depth and scope of his perspectives and personal experiences are sure to inspire our students."
Also honored will be Price City Mayor Joe Piccolo who will receive the Chancellor's Medallion.
USU Eastern will celebrate with its students the transformation from scholar to graduate during its annual commencement ceremonies at campuses in Price and Blanding.
The Price commencement begins at 10:30 a.m., in the Bunnell-Dmitrich Athletic Center. This is the 74th commencement ceremony for the college.
The USU Eastern Blanding Campus will hold its graduation ceremonies April 27 at 1 p.m. at San Juan High School. The Blanding commencement speaker is Rose Graham. Merri Shumway will be given the Chancellor Medallion. This year marks the 33rd commencement for the Blanding Campus.
From running the state to running for presidential nomination and serving as ambassador to China in between, Huntsman's influence is extensive and far reaching.
He began his career in public service as a staff assistant to U.S. President Ronald Reagan. He has since served four U.S. presidents in critical roles around the world, including ambassador to Singapore, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Asia, U.S. trade ambassador and most recently U.S. ambassador to China.
As Utah's governor, Huntsman brought about strong economic reforms, tripled the state's rainy day fund and helped bring unemployment rates to historic lows. During his tenure, Utah was named the best managed state in America and best state in which to do business. In 2008 he was re-elected with a record high vote and made history by winning every county in the state.
He currently serves on the board of Ford Motor Company, Caterpillar Corporation and the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and as chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.
He is a University of Pennsylvania graduate and holds seven honorary doctorate degrees.
"Commencement ceremonies are always such a joyous time," Peterson said. "We feel especially privileged to have someone of Gov. Huntsman's prominence and reputation to take time out of his demanding schedule to celebrate this special day with us."