Spencer F. Eccles advises grads to live balanced life

A successful business career needs to include focus, vigilance and hard work but it also should be tempered with kindness and life balance.

Spencer F. Eccles was the commencement speaker at the 2010 Jon M. Huntsman School of Business graduation ceremony, held in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum last May. He shared with students things he said he's learned in the "school of hard knocks" and used examples from the lives of some of his personal heroes to illustrate his points.

Mr. Eccles, who graduated from the University of Utah, serves as chairman and CEO of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. That foundation has granted more than $300 million in gifts since it began in 1982. He also serves on the boards of four other Eccles family foundations. He is the chairman emeritus of the Wells Fargo Intermountain Banking Region.

Mr. Eccles said students should always give an intense effort and should temper their work with kindness, stabilizing their lives through "the personal security of a loving family."

Mr. Eccles told the story of several people he considers heroes, including former baseball pitcher Dale Murphy, the late football Hall of Famer, Merlin Olsen, and Utah Jazz Hall of Famer, John Stockton. He advised the students to be "everyday heroes" too.

He told them to be a hero to themselves, their families and the many other people they can lift and inspire.

"The formula is really quite simple," he said, "work hard, be kind and love your family. Strive to be the best you can be and in doing so, ironically, you'll help others to reach their goals also."

Dean Douglas D. Anderson introduced Mr. Eccles and predicted that in 100 years there will be many wealthy families in Utah and that some will seek to emulate the contributions of the Eccles family foundations. Click here for more.

Top photo by Steve Eaton and bottom photo by Sterling Morris