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Gay advocate picked as commencement speaker

Published March 3, 2011 1:22 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Bruce Bastian, co-founder of WordPerfect and head of the B.W. Bastian Foundation, will deliver the commencement address at Westminster College's 2011 graduation ceremony.

Bastian was a married Mormon dad when he started WordPerfect in 1978 with Alan Ashton. He later came out as gay and became a national champion for LGBT rights. He serves on the Human Rights Campaign's board of directors and uses the B.W. Bastian Foundation to support equality for the LGBT community. In 2008, Bastian gave $1 million in the fight to defeat Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that eliminated gay marriage in California.

Westminster's commencement ceremony will be May 28, 1:45 p.m., at the Maverick Center, 3200 Decker Lake Drive (2200 West), West Valley City. Bastian also will receive an honorary degree.

"We are very pleased that Bruce Bastian will present this year's commencement address to the class of 2011," Westminster President Michael Bassis said in a statement. "His success as an entrepreneur and business leader, generous philanthropy to the arts and courageous support for human rights is commendable. Our graduates will be entering a world of increasing diversity and rapid social change. I have no doubt they will benefit from the wisdom he has to share."