Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. is not a native Utahan, but he has earned his keep in the Beehive State through education and politics. Huntsman attended Highland High School, but did not receive his diploma. He dropped out to pursue his passion for music and play keyboard in a band called the Wizards. He later earned his G.E.D. and started at the University of Utah. In 1987, Huntsman graduated with his bachelor’s degree in international politics.
His degree proved useful, as he began working as a White House staff assistant under the Reagan Administration following his graduation. He went on to become the U.S. Ambassador to Singapore in 1992. He returned to Utah when former governor Mike Leavitt announced he would not run for re-election, and Huntsman stepped into the race for state governor.
Huntsman served almost three terms as Utah’s governor before he was appointed Ambassador to China by President Obama. He held that position until returning to the U.S. in 2011, with hopes of gaining a 2012 Presidential bid. Though he gained that bid, began fundraising and actively pursued his campaign, Huntsman dropped out of the race in January 2012 and announced his support for Mitt Romney.
We will not be seeing Huntsman in the White House anytime soon, if ever, but we will continue to see his name around the U and his influence in Salt Lake City. He is a University of Utah alumnus, much like we hope to become, who has achieved his political aspirations and kinship dreams. Like him, we can reach our goals, too!