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News of the University

U Singers Hit The Road

University of Utah Singers
The University Singers pose for a photo in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The University Singers, the U’s premier choral group, will once again travel overseas in May to wow European audiences in their upcoming tour—the choir’s fourth in Europe—which includes performances in the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Croatia, and Slovenia. The tour culminates in June with the 11th International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf, Germany—a true celebration that will include a commingling of the Singers, University of Utah President Michael K. Young, and members of the U’s European Alumni Association.

University Singers is the creation of Brady Allred, director of choral studies in the School of Music. Allred received both his master’s and doctorate from Eastman School of Music, one of the premier music schools in the world. He has a reputation for excellence in both the national and international music communities. At the U, he is the first to hold the new Ellen Neilson Barnes Presidential Endowed Chair for Choral Studies, recently created by a $1.25 million endowment from Kem (BA’67 JD’70) and Carolyn (BS’69) Gardner.

“Brady is a fantastic director,” says Riley Soter, U of U student and a member of the University Singers since 2006. “He possesses not only amazing technical skills, but his artistry and musicianship are [also] stellar—and he evokes amazing things from his students.”

Since the group’s founding by Allred six years ago, the Singers have won two international competitions, recorded seven CDs, and performed locally and internationally for multiple audiences.

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A Virtual Hug—Or Taunt
New e-cards available from the U

Li'l Swoop and Red Rover

A Virtual Hug—Or Taunt New e-cards available from the U Alumni and fans of the U wishing to share their school spirit can now send free e-cards featuring Li’l Swoop and Red Rover (Swoop’s sidekick dog). There are cards for birthdays, holidays, and more—even one with a smack-talking, rub-it-in-your-face message for a post-Sugar Bowl victory. You can register to be notified when new e-cards become available and even download an e-card application widget for your Facebook page, blog, or desktop computer. Visit

Celebrating Stegner at 100

Wallace Stegner
Wallace Stegner
To honor the centennial of Wallace Stegner’s birth on February 18, 1909, the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law is sponsoring a variety of activities for the 2008-09 academic year celebrating Stegner’s life and legacy. The Stegner Center is joined in its efforts by a host of on- and off-campus partners.

Wallace Stegner BA’30—historian, novelist, essayist, conservationist, and educator—is widely known as the “Dean of Western Writers.” His literary legacy carries on in his major novels and nonfiction works, which are as relevant today as when they were written.

In celebrating Stegner, the year-long schedule of events consider his life’s work and ongoing influence on subsequent generations of writers, historians, and conservationists. The activities also celebrate Stegner’s connection to Salt Lake City, which he claimed as his hometown. He attended East High School and graduated from the University of Utah, where he played on the tennis team and first acquired a “love of books.”

Highlights of the year’s centennial activities include a KUED full-length documentary on Stegner, first aired in February; an undergraduate Honors College think-tank course; and the Stegner Center’s 14th annual symposium, “Wallace Stegner: His Life and Legacy,” held March 6-7. Wallace Stegner Fellows Will Bagley and Steven Trimble have been in residence this year at the Tanner Humanities Center to conduct research on Stegner and provide outreach to the larger community. The University of Utah Press also created the Wallace Stegner Prize in Environmental and American Western History, which carries a $10,000 award and publication for new manuscripts.

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  The American Mathematical Society (AMS) has awarded U of U math professor Christopher Hacon its Cole Prize in Algebra, along with James McKernan from the University of California, Santa Barbara. The award is for “their ground-breaking joint work on higher dimensional algebraic geometry.” The Cole is the only prize awarded to mathematicians by the AMS (every three years) and is given for contributions to algebra or number theory.

 Congratulations to three University of Utah staff who are winners of the 2008 Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology. David Chapman, senior vice president for academic affairs, won the award in the category of Academia. Lee Siegel, science news specialist for University public relations (and occasional writer for Continuum), was recognized in a Special Category for his work promoting scientific research at the U. And Mario Capecchi, Nobel Laureate and distinguished professor of human genetics and biology, received a Special Recognition award. The State of Utah has chosen the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology as a symbol of recognition to those individuals who have provided distinguished service to the state in the fields of science and technology.

For additional accolades, visit and select “Recognizing U.”

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Campus Notebook

David McCullough
David McCullough

Author David McCullough to Deliver 2009 Commencement Address
Widely acclaimed historian David McCullough will deliver the main address at the 2009 commencement ceremony, to be held on Friday, May 8, in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Dubbed a “master of the art of narrative history,” McCullough is twice winner of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In December 2006, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. McCullough’s most recent book, 1776, a number one New York Times national bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, has been called “brilliant, powerful” and “a classic.” McCullough’s previous work, John Adams, remains one of the most widely read American biographies of all time and, along with his book Truman, was adapted into a TV mini-series by HBO.

Wilford W. and Dorothy P. Goodwill Humanitarian Building
The new Wilford W. and Dorothy P. Goodwill Humanitarian Building

Goodwill Humanitarian Building Opens On September 17, 2008, the University of Utah College of Social Work celebrated the opening of the new Wilford W. and Dorothy P. Goodwill Humanitarian Building. This 15,000-square-foot addition to the original social work building not only houses the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program and the W.D. Goodwill Initiatives on Aging, but also features a state-of-the-art clinical training center, a community meeting room, and technology-enhanced classroom space. The Utah Commission on Aging, the Coalition of Nonprofit Agencies Serving the Elderly, and the Caregivers Coalition all have office space and personnel in the building as well. Collaborating with these agencies, the U’s Center on Aging, the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program, and the College of Social Work will focus on various areas of aging, including long-term care, mental health, community-based services, geriatric medicine, and retirement policies.

“Entrepreneur In Residence” Program Unveiled
The Technology Venture Development (Tech Ventures) office recently unveiled its Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program, designed to align seasoned entrepreneurs with University startup companies to help the new companies as they develop business plans, acquire financing, and begin operations. As the entrepreneurs and companies become acquainted, the mentors work as consultants. Their goal is to help new companies gain sure footing. University startup companies participating in the EIR program include those based on technologies in software, energy, diagnostic testing, and drug delivery.

New Nano Institute Established
The U recently established the Nano Institute of Utah, representing a significant and decisive step in the state’s quest to bring together the University’s and the state’s nano science experts in diverse areas of chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, medicine, and pharmacy. A nano, measuring one billionth of a meter, lends its name to the super-small-scale devices and scientific methods used to create the 21st century’s most advanced technology, which promises to revolutionize everything from communications to health care. The institute will help Utah enhance its position in nanotechnology research and development and also facilitate commercialization of new nanoscience discoveries.

Historic Officers Circle in Fort Douglas
Historic Officers Circle in Fort Douglas

$1 million Donated to Transform Fort Douglas Home
Thanks to a $1 million donation from U of U alumnus Pierre Lassonde MBA’73, the original Commanding Officer’s quarters at Fort Douglas (which has been vacant for more than 50 years) is receiving a face lift. The 19th-century building will house the executive offices for the University’s entrepreneurial programs, such as the Lassonde New Venture Development Center, the Tech Titans idea competition, Opportunity Quest, and the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. Not only will it be capable of hosting large group events for each of these programs, it will also be available for rental by other organizations.

In Memoriam

Craig Forster, 55, director, Office of Sustainability, and professor, College of Architecture + Planning

Janet Quinney Lawson, 86, noted philanthropist; helped established the Ski Archives at the U’s Marriott Library

Dennis Patrick Monahan, 60, vice president for national contracts at ARUP Laboratories

Parry D. Sorensen BS’36, 92, renowned communication professional long associated with the University of Utah

Jay Welch PhD’59, 83, former University of Utah professor of music and Mormon Tabernacle Choir conductor

To read longer versions of these memoria, click here.

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