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Mason 1L Honored by President Bush

First-year law student and Utahn Rick Pehrson began his time as a Mason law student in an unusual manner: lauded by President George W. Bush at a White House South Lawn reception on September 8 honoring Americans who have had a significant impact on their communities as volunteers.

Pehrson signed on to a project to enlist the support of and help train 1,300 fellow Utahns to host the reopening and rededication of the Utah State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City. For his efforts, he was singled out by Bush as a community hero and a member of the "armies of compassion" at work in cities and towns across America.

According to an account in the Salt Lake Tribune, Bush addressed the volunteers, saying, "I believe you are a constant reminder of the true source of our nation's strength, which is the good hearts and souls of the American people."

The Utah State Capitol Building, dating to 1916, underwent a massive reconstruction and seismic stabilization effort over a period of six years, giving way to an historic renovation that also features a new fountain plaza and a memorial walkway with over 500 cherry trees. Cost of the project was $227 million, with the dedication occurring on January 4, 2008, the 112th anniversary of Utah's statehood.

Pehrson, from South Jordan, Utah, is a graduate of the University of Utah and is enrolled in the evening division during his first year of study at Mason Law.