Utah Statehood Centennial Ambassador Visits Program Itinerary
The ambassador visits itinerary was designed for a two-day/one night visit. The ambassador would fly out of Washington D.C. on the 7:00 a.m. Delta Air Lines flight and arrive in Salt Lake City at around 10:30 a.m. Before the days of TSA, the greeting party would meet the ambassador at the gate and have them go to a waiting car. The invitation to each ambassador was signed by Governor Michael O. Leavitt; Orrin G. Hatch and Robert F. Bennett, United States senators for Utah; and Stephen M. Studdert, Utah Centennial Chairman. Therefore, the first priority on the itinerary was for the ambassador to meet with Governor Leavitt. Governor Leavitt agreed to leave his 11 o’clock hour flexible for ambassador visits. Committee member Dr. Erland Peterson would call Governor Leavitt’s scheduler when an ambassador had confirmed the dates of travel to Utah and arrange the meeting.
The second priority was to have the ambassador speak at a luncheon. Community service organizations such as the Lions Club, Kiwanis, or the Chamber of Commerce frequently invited the ambassador to be their guest and to speak.
The third priority was to focus on the business community. The committee would arrange meetings with members of the business community who were doing business or would have liked to do business in the ambassador’s country. Evans and Sutherland often met with and hosted many of the ambassadors. In the evening, the committee would arrange a dinner hosted by a business.
The fourth priority was to have the ambassador visit a college or university and give a lecture. The hosting institution would also host a luncheon.
The fifth priority was to schedule a meeting with the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This was generally the last part of the itinerary. From that meeting the ambassador would be driven to the airport and take the afternoon Delta Air Lines flight to Washington D.C.
A key to hosting the ambassadors were the volunteer hosts. To enhance the ambassador’s visit, the committee selected a host for the ambassador. The host would meet the ambassador at the airport and stay with the ambassador until he departed Utah. The hosts were individuals who had some personal connection to the ambassador’s country — expats from the ambassador’s country; prominent Utahns who had ties to the country; business leaders who were doing business with the country; or former LDS mission presidents to the country. Usually, Peterson was also at the airport when each ambassador arrived and then attended one or two events with the ambassador.