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4/19/04

James LeVoy Sorenson to Address Westminster College Class of 2004 at Commencement Ceremonies

Salt Lake City-- Westminster College is pleased to announce that James LeVoy Sorenson will address the graduating class of 2004 during the college's May 29th commencement ceremony. Sorenson, a renowned medical device inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy during the ceremony. In addition, Westminster will honor Peter Meldrum, President and CEO of Myriad Genetics and Chair of the Westminster Science Advisory Board with a Doctorate of Science.

Westminster College President Michael Bassis remarked, "I am delighted that Mr. Sorenson has agreed to speak to our graduates this year. I believe his success inventing and developing new products, and exploring new realms of knowledge, will truly inspire our graduates."

Sorenson is known foremost for inventing the first cardio-vascular lab computer system to monitor the human heart in real-time. Like many of his medical innovations, it was revolutionary at the time, but is standard equipment in hospitals today. He also invented the first disposable paper surgical mask, the first plastic venous catheter and the first blood recycling system. Today, he is listed on Forbes' 400 Wealthiest People in America. Now 82, Sorenson is increasingly devoting his attention to philanthropy. He has created the non-profit Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. The foundation is compiling world genealogy information and connecting it with human DNA analysis to create an extensive database of human heredity.

Sorenson will join a long list of notable degree recipients Westminster College has honored at past commencement ceremonies: including former Health and Human Services Secretary and president of the University of Miami Donna Shalala; former White House Chief of Staff and governor of New Hampshire, John Sununu; internationally known columnist and author Georgie Ann Geyer; PBS senior news correspondent Ray Suarez; president and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney; U.S. Senator Bob Bennett; and astronauts Rhea Seddon and Hoot Gibson.

Westminster College is the only private, comprehensive liberal arts college in Utah and one of the very few in the Intermountain West. The college is small, nondenominational and focused intensively on student learning. It prepares its students for success through a strong foundation of liberal education combined with cutting-edge professional programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Westminster in the top tier of regional colleges and universities in the West, and as an excellent educational value. For more information visit http://www.westminstercollege.edu/.