Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser compares life to video games in the early U.

Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser delivers his commencement address to the University of Utah graduating class Thursday during commencement ceremonies at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. (Live stream from the University of Utah)

Estimated reading time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser returned 38 years after graduating from the University of Utah to deliver the commencement address for the Class of 2022 during the commencement ceremony at the Huntsman Center Thursday.

“How many of you graduates have played or still play a video game? Bowser asked the graduates.

He followed that question by reflecting on his own experiences and lessons learned — in the form of video game levels — that took him from making pizzas at The Pie Pizzeria in Salt Lake City to president of a multinational gaming company. video.

Then, he left the graduates with four pieces of advice.

The first was to keep an open mind about learning and curiosity.

“You’ve learned to learn. Unlearn and learn again, please don’t stop. Stay curious, there’s so much to see and experience,” Bowser said.

Bowser’s second piece of advice had to do with how challenges – much like those that arise while playing Mario Kart or Donkey Kong – will come up in life, however he plans his path.


I said it was (life) like a video game. Video games are fun, your life is meant to be fun – go out and have fun.

–Doug Bowser, President of Nintendo of America


“As Donkey Kong teaches us, there are both barrels and bananas, but there are also different ladders and different vines to climb,” Bowser said. “Accept challenges – keep pushing, aim higher.”

Third, he encouraged graduates to listen to others by referring to a quote from Lyndon B. Johnson: “We don’t learn by talking.

Finally, he left graduates with perhaps the most profound of all his advice, encouraging them to remember the essence of their lives.

“I said (life) was like a video game. Video games are fun, your life is supposed to be fun – go out and have fun,” Bowser said.

University of Utah students cheer during the opening ceremony of the U.  Thursday at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
University of Utah students cheer during the opening ceremony of the U. Thursday at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. (Photo: University of Utah live stream)

Additionally, Karen Haight Huntsman, Jacqueline Thompson and Ruth V. Watkins received honorary doctorates during the ceremony. Bowser will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Communications at U.

READ. awarded a total of 9,276 degrees to 8,609 graduates—the largest class in the school’s history—of which 5,836 are bachelor’s degrees; 2,363 are masters; 751 are doctorates; 107 are Juris Doctors; 115 are medical doctors; 60 are doctors of pharmacy and 44 are doctors of dentistry.

Thursday’s graduates included students from all 50 U.S. states and 69 foreign countries, with 4,289 identifying as male, 4,257 identifying as female, and 63 non-binary or unidentified. The youngest undergraduate graduate is 18 while the oldest is 72. Among the graduate students, the youngest is 21 and the oldest is 74.

“Each of you has contributed to creating a rich, diverse and dynamic environment during your time here and we appreciate your dedication as scholars and your enthusiasm for building a better future,” said the University President. of Utah, Taylor Randall, to the graduates.

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter for KSL.com, covering Southern Utah communities, education, business, and military news.

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