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Associated Press

Alex Smith named U commencement speaker

By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof   |  Posted Feb 12th, 2014 @ 12:18pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — University of Utah graduate and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith will address the 2014 graduating class of his alma mater.

The quarterback was chosen as the speaker for the May 1 general commencement because of his display of character as well as his accomplishments, the university said Tuesday. Smith studied economics, earning his bachelor's degree in two years and starting work on his master’s degree before he was drafted to the NFL.

“Smith is not only a talented athlete and accomplished student, he is a standout example of class and persistence,” said David W. Pershing, president of the U. “It is no surprise that his teammates voted him the Ed Block Courage Award in 2011 as a model of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage. It is an honor to welcome Alex back to campus.”

Smith founded the Alex Smith Foundation and the Alex Smith Guardian Scholars Program in 2007. The foundation gives fosters teens up to five years’ tuition, year-round housing, books, mentors, career guidance, health services and living expenses.

In 2013, Smith led the Chiefs to the playoffs for the first time in three years, losing to the Indianapolis Colts. Prior to that, Smith led the San Francisco 49ers to a division title.

The commencement will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

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