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Alumni Association News

At the Sugar Bowl

MUSS members at the Sugar Bowl
MUSS members at the Sugar Bowl.

By Brynn Whitchurch

The Alumni Association gratefully acknowledges the sponsors of its Sugar Bowl events: Cannon Satellite, MountainWest Sports Network, and University of Utah Federal Credit Union.

The Alumni Association threw two well-attended, high-spirited events in New Orleans leading up to the Sugar Bowl on January 2: a pep rally and a tailgate. Both were held at the New Orleans Marriott, the team hotel and a hub for Utah fans. The hotel lobby, which was filled to the brim with a churning sea of red, made a perfect location for the alumni events.

The pep rally was held the day before the game and attracted more than 5,000 Utah fans: Crimson Club members, The MUSS, Swoop, the Spirit Squad, “Crazy Lady” Terri Jackson BS’74 MS’76, other fans young and old, and, of course, our fabulous football team. The Marriott’s Grand Ballroom was wall-to-wall red. While chairs had been set up, everyone was on their feet, pumped to be celebrating Utah’s second BCS bowl game. The crowd was treated to music by the Marching Utes, and the cheerleaders and Crimson Line also kept everyone entertained.

A Sugar Bowl representative welcomed us all to Louisiana. He held up a Utah football helmet and declared that if Utah won, the helmet would be forever displayed at the Superdome, along with memorabilia from past Sugar Bowl winners. The evening’s highlight was hearing from the undefeated football team and coaches, who thanked fans for making the long journey to New Orleans. They of course received a raucous ovation, which grew as they exited the ballroom with a spontaneous “Ute Walk” through the middle of the crowd.

The tailgate was held just prior to the big game and again drew a record crowd, making it the largest the Alumni Association has ever held. Two thousand tickets were sold in advance, and the remaining 200 tickets went on sale before the tailgate began. Hungry fans lined up as early as two hours before the event to purchase the remaining tickets.

Magic was in the air, and everyone was itching to get to the Superdome. Before that, though, fans were treated to traditional New Orleans cuisine: jambalaya, gumbo, and “po’boy” sandwiches. In true Mardi Gras style, red and black beads were tossed to the crowd, and rompin’-stompin’ music was provided by the zydeco band “The Flavors.” The Marching Utes, cheerleaders, Swoop, and Crimson Line were once again on hand to spread some spirit and lead the fans in multiple rounds of “Utah Man.” The mood at the tailgate was one of excitement and anticipation, with a bit of nervousness thrown in. No one knew what the evening would bring, but the tailgate was a fantastic lead-up to an unforgettable night!

—Brynn Whitchurch BA’05 is the Alumni Association’s coordinator of The MUSS.

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Honoring Emeriti

Merit of Honor Award Recipients

Richard Carling BS’62 JD’65, Marilyn Lunt Phillips BS’56, A. Hamer Reiser, Jr. BA’43 MD’45, Au-Deane Shepherd Cowley BA’66 MSW’69 PhD’75, and Norton Parker BS’51.

In November, the University of Utah Emeritus Alumni Board presented its 2008 Merit of Honor Award to five former students, all of whom first graduated from the University 40 or more years ago. The award recognizes their outstanding achievements and distinguished service to the University, their profession, and the community.

Richard Carling BS’62 JD’65, a Utah attorney, has devoted his adult life to public service—as a member of both the Utah House of Representatives (1967-73) and the Senate (1973-1990). He received the Outstanding Service Award from the U’s Police Department and the Honorary Colonel of Excellence from the Utah Highway Patrol, and was named Outstanding Legislator of the Year by the Associated Students of the University of Utah.

Au-Deane Shepherd Cowley BA’66 MSW’69 PhD’75 has had a distinguished career as a clinical social worker and marital and family therapist, and as a faculty member in the U’s Graduate School of Social Work, where she served as associate dean and director of practicum before her retirement in 1998. She was awarded a University Distinguished Teaching Award at the U’s 1993 Commencement.

Norton Parker BS’51 began his banking career at the Bank of Utah, then moved to the Lockhart Company, Western States Thrift, and the Bank of Salt Lake, building a reputation for integrity and fair-mindedness. In 1977, he founded Capital City Bank and, as president, grew the business to include eight branches before selling the company to Bank One (now Chase) and retiring in 1994. In 2008, the Utah Banker’s Association honored him as among the state’s most prominent bankers.

Marilyn Lunt Phillips BS’56 has devoted her life to service in educational, community, and humanitarian causes. Holding a master’s of education from Westminster College and a certificate from the U’s Graduate School of Educational Administration, she served as principal at two elementary schools for many years. She received the Outstanding Administrator award from the Utah Music Educators Association, the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education, and the 2007 Belle Spafford Award from the University of Utah College of Social Work.

A. Hamer Reiser, Jr. BA’43 MD’45, has been an internal medicine specialist for more than 60 years. He served as a medical officer in the U.S. Army (1946-48), then practiced medicine in Salt Lake City from 1950-1987. Since 1990, Reiser has provided medical services for missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and continues to make pro bono publico house calls for those in need. He and his wife, Betty Jo, also served for years as volunteers at the Utah State Prison. Reiser was recognized with the Salt Lake County Medical Society Auxiliary’s Distinguished Physician Award.

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Alumni Association New Board Leadership and Members, 2008-09

In addition to the Board of Directors and Young Alumni Board (featured in the Fall 2008 issue), the Alumni Association sponsors the Beehive Honor Society, Emeritus Alumni, and Student Alumni boards. All of the boards are instrumental in helping the Alumni Association fulfill its annual goals, including organizing events, raising scholarship funds for students, and providing community service opportunities for students and alumni alike. Following are the new members and officers serving this academic year:

Beehive Honor Society
Seated (L-R): President Amy Oliver BS’95, Jennifer Kleinman BS’92, Jennifer Lambert BA’05. Standing (L-R): President-elect P. David Jensen BS’63, Lisa Pace BS’89, Troy Bengtzen BA’92 MBA’93, and David O’Leary BA’79.

Beehive Honor Society

Founded at the U in 1913, the Beehive Honor Society honors graduating seniors who have demonstrated leadership, scholarship, and service to the University and the community. The society is directed by a 10-member board, which oversees the induction of new members and seeks to raise funds to support student scholarships. Among the society’s 1,200-plus members and 20 honorary members are prominent leaders in a wide array of professions.

Emeritus Alumni

Emeritus Alumni Board members are actively involved in Alumni Association activities, which includes selecting Merit of Honor Award recipients, serving as advocates to the Utah Legislature, and organizing and participating in a variety of community service programs. The board also produces an online newsletter, EmeriTalk (see top sidebar), which keeps emeritus alumni notified of special events and other activities, as well as opportunities for personal development and community service.

Earl WunderliMona ClarkNew board members

L-R: Earl M. Wunderli BA’56 JD’59, President. Mona Daniels Clark BS’62 MS’83 PhD’91, President-Elect.

New board members: Mary Lee Christensen BS’59 MEd’75, Susan Griffin Gaskill BS’64, David E. West JD’57, Carolyn Beal Kump BS’53, Ted Nagata BFA’59 MFA’60 .

Student Alumni

The Student Alumni Board
Bottom row (L-R): Suneeti Agrawal, VP External; Grace Murdock, VP Internal; McKenzie Newton, VP Off Campus; Top Row: Brent Schmidt, President; Graham Anderson, Ex-officio VP.

The Student Alumni Board (SAB) offers a unique opportunity for students to work with U of U alumni in planning and participating in various campus programs and events, including Homecoming, PlazaFest, The MUSS, the Utah vs. BYU Food Drive, U Book, and the year-end “After Party” bash.

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