Dad attended elementary, junior, and high school in Salt Lake City, UT, then simultaneously earned a B.S. (Honors) in Chemical Engineering and a B.A. in Physics from the University of Utah in 1965.  He then went on to earn a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1969.

In 1986 he wrote a lengthy history of his education, beginning with his entrance into kindergarten and ending with his then current résumé.  In it, he recounts such items as when he had scarlet fever, how many days he missed school each year, his grades for each elementary and high school year, and what he thought of some of his teachers. 

Reading through this history, it is interesting to note just how little he was challenged during his formal education.  Of his seventh grade math teacher, he writes: 

"I enjoyed my math and science class very much.  I was top in the class in math, and I seemed to often demonstrate my superiority by correcting the teacher when he made mistakes.  Mr. Jones was a good teacher."

Later, speaking of some of his high school teachers, he writes: 

"Perhaps U.S. History was the most boring class I had in high school.  It seemed that way to me, perhaps because Mr. Dixon was not particularly qualified to teach U.S. History.  He is a physical education major.  Even though it was boring, I learned quite a bit. . . . Mr. Tate was a very good English teacher, but he did not push his students hard enough.  We had to write a theme per month outside of class.  He should have given us one a week.  I enjoyed his class though."

During the spring quarter of 1958, he was in his second year at the University of Utah, and had the following to say about one of his classes:

"Analytic geometry was the most difficult mathematics class I have ever taken.  Even at that, it did not seem overly difficult, and I pushed through it quite well.  Mr. Ford was a very good teacher, but he did not push his students quite enough.  Economics was the first class that I have ever taken that really gave me a challenge.  We subscribed to the Wall Street Journal and read about two articles per day in it.  We went completely through an eight hundred page text.  We had many outside reading assignments.  I have a 140 page notebook of class notes from this economics class.  Even with all this work, I feel that I could have been pushed more.  Dr. Fuller was an outstanding teacher."

He received straight A marks in nearly every class he took through elementary, junior high, high school, undergraduate, and graduate courses.

In this same history of his education, he documents some important events in his life.  Here are a few (those who knew dad will understand why some of these events were very important to him):

  • June 22, 1939:  Birth date 4:20 am, Thursday, L.D.S. Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah.  Weight at birth 6 lb. 13 oz.; height 19 in.
  • June 1940: First walked alone.
  • July 14, 1943: Went to Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Baily Circus in Salt Lake City.
  • May 1944:  Took first train ride - to Springville, Utah.
  • April 12, 1945: President Franklin D. Roosevelt died; Harry S. Truman made President of the U.S.
  • May 18, 1945: Came down with scarlet fever - had it for six weeks.
  • August 6, 1945: Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.
  • August 9, 1945: Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
  • September, 1945: Started first grade at Sherman School.
  • July 2, 1947:  Baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by Earl Beecher in the Tabernacle font, Salt Lake City.
  • September 17, 1947: Had tonsils taken out.
  • July 22, 1948: Began piano lessons - Louise Hansen, teacher.
  • May, 1950: Sprained ligaments on ring finger of right hand playing baseball.
  • September 8, 1950: Began first diary.
  • June 18, 1952: Bought sleeping bag for $15.25 with money which I had saved.
  • February 8, 1953: Played the pipe organ for Garden Heights Ward Sacrament Meeting.
  • July 11, 1953: Began regular part time job at Southeast Pharmacy.
  • May 20, 1954: Graduated from Olympus Junior High School.
  • November 22, 1954: Suffered amnesia from blow on the head.
  • January 10, 1955: Started studying chess.
  • June 30, 1955:  Opened savings account at Western Savings and Loan Association.
  • June 6, 1956: Received last piano lesson from Mrs. Hansen.
  • July 14, 1956: Left with Don for two weeks' Army Summer Camp at Yakima, Washington.
  • September 30, 1956: Spent all day Sunday at Fort Douglas, Firing M-1's.
  • May 24, 1957:  Graduated from Olympus High School, with highest grade point average in graduating class - 3.98; promoted to PFC in Reserve unit.
  • November 9, 1957: Hitchhiked to Los Angeles (350 miles away) with David Turman, second cousin.
  • January 3, 1958: Started college at the University of Utah.
  • February 26, 1958: Received filing cabinet.

Dad's education was thorough and fulfilling.  He frequently commented on his love of learning, and his ability to outsmart his instructors.

For the full text of his original document, click here.

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