Thursday, June 4, 1964 | 6 a.m.
Gov. Grant Sawyer, addressing the first graduating class at Nevada Southern yesterday, said the university's growth here has has disproved "the prophets of doom" and he predicted it would become "one of the outstanding educational centers of the great Southwest."
Sawyer was the keynote speaker at ceremonies on the Maryland Parkway campus, which saw 29 graduates receive their diplomas from University President Dr. Charles Armstrong and Dean William Carlson of Nevada Southern.
The ceremonies, which lasted close to an hour and a half, were held in the campus gymnasium. Graduates filed to the speaker's stand to receive diplomas in groups according to their major studies.
Sawyer, turning his attention to Nevada Southern, said the campus will be "hard put to match its growth to increasing public demand."
Sawyer said predictions that the campus would fail because of its location, or that the expense of putting it into full operation would "bankrupt the commonwealth" have been proven false.
He credited Nevada Southern's parent campus to the north with developing into "a leading center of western thought and discussion."
Touching briefly on civil rights, he urged:
"Let us define state's rights as the right and responsibility to let us insist that our right to order our own internal affairs should not be interposed as a barrier against the command of the constitution for protection of rights and privileges inherent in national citizenship."
The governor urged that Nevada schools on all levels be given "the utmost support from local, state and federal governments."
In other remarks, he urged Nevadans to "continue to generate pressure for an overhaul of archaic land laws which prevent Western states from full use of the lands within their borders."
Two prominent Southern Nevadans were honored with an honorary degree and a Distinguished Nevadan citation during the ceremonies.
Receiving an honorary Doctor of Science degree was Franklin Wartman, metallurgist from Boulder City, while Robert Griffith, Las Vegas businessman, received the Distinguished Nevadan award.
Gov. Sawyer had earlier received an honorary degree in ceremonies on the University's Reno campus.
Invocation at yesterday's ceremonies was by Rev. Paul Egerston, Calvary Lutheran Church of Las Vegas. Rev. Caesar Caviglia gave the benediction.
A reception at the Nevada Southern library followed graduation ceremonies.