WSU Announces Honorary Degree Recipients

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University will award honorary degrees to an economic advisor to three presidents, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, a former director of the student union, and a renowned architect at the university’s 121st commencement May 8 at 5:30 p.m. in the Dee Events Center.

The recipients are: Roger B. Porter of Cambridge, Massachusetts; Richard Richards of South Ogden; J. Farrell Shepherd of South Ogden, and Keith W. Wilcox of Ogden.


Porter will deliver this year’s commencement speech. He is IBM Professor of Business and Government and the Master of Dunster House at Harvard University where he has taught government and economics since 1977. His public service has focused on economic policy.  Porter has spent more than eleven years in the West Wing of the White House, serving in senior economic policy positions for Presidents Ford, Reagan and George H.W. Bush.  His book Presidential Decision Making and his legendary course on The American Presidency at Harvard have established him as a leading presidential scholar.  His most recent book Efficiency, Equity, and Legitimacy: The Multilateral Trading System at the Millennium examines the challenge of a globalized economy.


Richards, a Weber State alumnus, has had a distinguished career as a political consultant, campaign manager and attorney. Under President Ronald Reagan, he was Chairman of the Republican National Committee and he has served three terms as Utah State Republican Chairman. Richards is president of CCI, a company he established in 1984 to facilitate trade between American and Pacific Rim companies. The company subsequently expanded to include trade worldwide and has facilitated trade agreements for commercial aircraft, jet engines and various manufacturing agencies. He is general counsel for Sunrider, International, a multi-national herbal food manufacturer/distributor and has served as chair of the Weber State University Board of Trustees.


Shepherd’s professional career focused on enriching the college experience for thousands of Weber State students. A Weber State alumnus (Class of 1950), he was union building and student activities director and bookstore manager. In recognition of his dedication, the Alumni Association presented him with a Distinguished Service Award in 1981, and the following year, the J. Farrell Shepherd Union Building was named in his honor. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy and was awarded numerous service medals and a Presidential Unit Citation. Shepherd was the Mayor of South Ogden City and a South Ogden City Councilman. He served on the Board of Directors of the Utah League of Cities and Towns and was Chairman of the Weber Area Council of Governments.


Wilcox has had a lasting influence on Weber State University. His architectural designs for the first structures on the Ogden campus, as well as the Shepherd Union Building and the Val A. Browning Center, have given a distinct appearance to the campus. His design for Mountain View Elementary School pioneered significant changes in elementary school design and received national recognition, leading to his becoming architect for the Weber County School District. He designed numerous contemporary schools throughout Northern Utah. He won national acclaim in the design of many public and commercial buildings, hospitals, residences and church buildings, including the Washington, D.C., LDS Temple. During World War II, Wilcox served in the U.S. Navy. His public service includes a term in the Utah House of Representatives.


Marsha Richter, commencement chair
(801) 626-6573 ·

John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
(801) 626-7212 ·