OGDEN -- Weber State awarded honorary degrees to two prominent businessmen, a respected dentist and investor, and a retired WSU English professor.
"Honorary degrees are a way for Weber State to recognize individuals who have been strong advocates for education, exceptional alumni, faculty or staff members, or longtime supporters or friends of Weber State," said John Kowalewski, WSU spokesman. "It also allows us to recognize people who have made significant contributions to our campus, our greater community and to the world around us."
The degrees were conferred during the 139th Weber State University commencement exercises Friday at the Dee Events Center.
The honorary degrees were awarded to:
* Mark DeYoung is president and CEO of ATK, an international aerospace, defense and commercial products enterprise with more than 17,000 employees and annual revenues of nearly $5 billion.
DeYoung earned his bachelor's degree at Weber State and his master's degree at Westminster College. He began his career as a financial analyst at the Hercules Aerospace Company in Salt Lake City during the 1980s. ATK acquired Hercules in 1995, and he rose through the management ranks to head the company's largest business entity, the Armament Systems Group. In 2010, he was selected as ATK's president and CEO.
DeYoung's public service experience includes membership in numerous industry trade associations, including the Board of Governors of the Aerospace Industries Association, and work with nonprofit organizations to strengthen Northern Utah communities. He has advocated for higher education through his relationship with WSU's John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics.
* Harris Simmons is chairman, president and CEO of Zions Bancorporation, the second-largest domestically headquartered bank holding company in the western United States. A Harvard Business School graduate who holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah, he has been a driving force in regional economic development efforts by providing financing for many small and mid-sized businesses.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Simmons has supported religious, medical, community, artistic and educational activities as a trustee of charitable foundations and nonprofit organizations.
Simmons' public service also includes membership on the boards of numerous business organizations, including Questar Corporation and the O.C. Tanner Company. He has also served as president or chairman of the Shelter the Homeless Committee Inc. of Salt Lake City, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, the Utah Symphony, the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks authorization, and more.
* Paul Favero, a dentist in the Sacramento, Calif., area, has a professional career spanning more than five decades, and has had a second career in real estate investment, having founded a regional bank and developed numerous properties and business centers, including a country club resort.
A 1954 Weber College alumnus, Favero earned his dentistry degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. He has served on the university's National Advisory Council for more than a decade, and he and his wife, Jeri, are active in the newly organized WSU alumni group in Northern California.
Through the creation of the Paul and Jeri Favero Dental Hygiene Endowment Fund, Favero has benefited dental hygiene faculty and students by funding supplies, teaching materials, equipment needs, speaker stipends, and workshop and travel expenses.
* Gordon Allred is an emeritus professor of English at WSU, where he served as a faculty member for 48 years. Prior to his retirement in 2011, he was recognized for his instructional expertise in the fields of creative writing and modern literature. He had also earned a reputation as an outstanding mentor.
Allred, who holds master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Utah, has also enjoyed success as an author, writing more than 20 book-length biographical and fictional works, as well as numerous articles, short stories and poems.
At Weber State, Allred has received the Presidential Distinguished Professor Award; the H. Aldous Dixon and Purple Paw awards; the Crystal Crest Master Teacher Award; the George and Beth Lowe Award for Innovative Teaching; and the Creative Achievement Award.