LDS Pres. Thomas S. Monson is set to address the 2009 class during the 68th graduation ceremony to be held May 1 in the McKay Center.

Pres. Monson, along with his wife Frances and long-time friend of UVU Phyllis Christensen, will be presented with honorary degrees at the main commencement ceremony.

“President Monson has been a long-time supporter of Utah Valley University and its students, and we are pleased he has agreed to address our graduating class of 2009,” said UVU interim president Elizabeth Hitch. “Our mission is to ‘prepare professionally competent people of integrity who, as life-long learners and leaders, serve as stewards of a globally interdependent community.’ President Monson provides a model for students of those characteristics that we hope they demonstrate as graduates of this institution of higher learning. We look forward to hearing his message.”

It has been projected that the graduating class of 2009 will be the largest to have ever walked the halls of UVU. An estimated 3,743 students, a large group compared to 2007’s graduating class of 3,287 students. It is no surprise that with this surge in graduates, that UVU is now the second-largest state university in Utah.

Convocations will be held for the College of Humanities, School of Education and University College beginning at 8 a.m., prior to Commencement. Following the main ceremony and beginning at 12:30 p.m., afternoon convocations will be held for the College of Technology & Computing, College of Science & Health, School of the Arts and Woodbury School of Business.

Monson, who served as a former member of the state Board of Regents, has visited UVU on several occasions, including a more recent visit to attend ceremonies commemorating university status in July 2008. Additionally, he was on-site for the institution’s 1975 groundbreaking for the Orem campus.

Monson was appointed the 16th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Feb. 2008, after having served more than 44 years as an LDS Apostle. Furthermore, Monson was appointed by Ronald Reagan to the President’s Task Force for Private Sector Initiatives and is the recipient of the Silver Buffalo, the highest accolade given by the Boy Scouts of America.