Texas Red

Left to right: Reese Wilde, Bob Peterson, and H. Davis Tubre

Think herding cats is tough? With U of U alumni ranging in ages, occupations, and backgrounds, gathering them together in a city far from their U home can be a challenge.

Fortunately, the various alumni chapters spread around the country—from California to Connecticut—are guided by a group of dedicated chapter leaders who organize events promoting athletics, academics, community service, and, along the way, camaraderie among fellow Utes.

How dedicated? The uncommon story of H. Davis Tubre MBA’73, chair of the Dallas-Ft. Worth alumni chapter, is a good example. Although Tubre graduated from the University of Utah with an MBA in December 1973, it was 1995—some 22 years later—before he had the opportunity to set foot on the University campus. He earned his degree at the business school’s European division in Zweibrucken, West Germany, where he completed all of his course work.

Germany seems an unlikely destination for someone who grew up in a small Louisiana town. But after receiving his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University, Tubre joined the U. S. Air Force to “see the world.” In 1970 he found himself in Germany, serving as a logistics and supply officer at the base in Zweibrucken. It was there he became interested in learning more about the processes the Air Force used in the management of its huge supplies of consumables and properties. Tubre decided to enroll in the U’s European Division MBA program, which he found both competitive and convenient to his circumstances. (Some 1,700 students have graduated from the program, which is no longer in operation.) It also offered some of the U’s best faculty the opportunity to teach for a semester in Europe.

Fast forward to 1987, when Tubre decided to set up home and shop in Texas. (His consulting business, Aims First Technologies, provides Macintosh and PC network support and video services for clients.) He soon discovered a large number of U of U alumni—over 800 at last count—in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area. A committed mover and shaker, he organized an alumni group now called, appropriately, the “Lone Star” chapter.

In 1995 Tubre stepped onto the U of U campus for the first time when he was invited to attend the Chapter Leadership Conference. At this annual event, chapter leaders have the chance to mingle with Association staff and other alumni colleagues, compare notes, gather information, and experience the latest happenings on campus.

Since then, Tubre has continued to be a hardworking leader, organizing family picnics, tailgate parties and other social gatherings, and promoting community service programs. For the past five years, for example, the Lone Star chapter has collected donations and presented a check to the U’s Bennion Center in support of its community outreach projects.

Says Tubre, “As a relationship-type person, I have enjoyed associating with other alumni, not only those locally, but other grads from Houston, Austin, and Oklahoma, as well as the U of U Alumni Association.” As chapter chair, he continues to work with the Lone Star chapter leadership to diversify activities and increase participation.

Tubre is a life member of the Alumni Association and also supports the Crimson Club and the Eccles School of Business.

Alumni by the Bay

Enthusiasm and organizational skills abound in the recently established Bay Area alumni chapter. In October, the chapter hosted a special event at a restaurant overlooking the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. The speaker was Ute basketball coach Rick Majerus, who joined a group of about 70 alumni and their guests for a reception and dinner. The coach talked about his favorite topic, basketball, then fielded questions. True to form, Coach Majerus was “the life of the party,” comments chapter member Hannah Horsley HBA’89. He visited each table to greet everyone personally, and autographed copies of his autobiography as well as Ute caps, basketballs, and other paraphernalia that were later auctioned off to raise funds to launch the chapter.

Coach Majerus (center) with Bay Area alumni.

In November, over 30 people (including three brave BYU alumni) attended a Utah-BYU party in San Francisco to cheer and/or boo as the annual Ute-Cougar football face-off took place. At the same time, the chapter collected over 100 lbs. of food from a raffle held to support the San Francisco Food Bank. Items auctioned off included a football autographed by the Ute football team and coaches, and some Utah football T-shirts. Special guests included Stewart Hansen BS’94, who played football for the Utes in 1991-92; Alysa Frenz BS’98, an all-American gymnast who competed for the Utes from 1993-96 (including the National Championship teams in 1994 and 1995); and Sharon Oshita, who served as head trainer for the women’s gymnastic team for eight years, from 1994-2001.

If you are interested in becoming involved with a chapter in your area, please visit the Association’s Web site, or contact Robbi Dewey, chapter coordinator, at (801) 581-3857, or chapter officers in your area.

To commemorate the founding of the University in 1850, the Alumni Association each year honors four alumni and one non-alumnus/a who have distinguished themselves professionally and individually by supporting the University and its mission, and by serving the local and national communities. The 2002 Founders Day Banquet honoring these distinguished alumni and honorary alumna was held on March 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Grand America Hotel. The 2002 honorees are:

Distinguished Alumni

Timothy S. Evans BS’74, innovator, organizer, and humanitarian, established a successful dental practice in Salt Lake City after receiving his degree in dentistry from the University of the Pacific in 1977. Since 1982, when he established the Andean Children’s Foundation, Evans has devoted his efforts to providing aid to impoverished areas of the world. He has been instrumental in establishing a number of charities and development programs, including the Center for Humanitarian Outreach and Intercultural Exchange (CHOICE), designed to mobilize volunteer participation in grassroots village initiatives in developing countries around the world; the Rapid Rural Appraisal and Action Management Program (RRAAMP), which helps local populations establish sustainable self-help health and education institutions; and the Engage Now Foundation, which encourages Americans to become involved in alleviating world poverty. Evans has received the “Social Innovation” award (1987) from the Candle Foundation; the Meritorious Service Award (1989) from Rotary International; and the Distinguished Service Award (1998) from the Utah Dental Association.

Evans and his wife, Melissa, are the parents of five children. They live on a ranch outside of Oakley, Utah.

Mark W. Fuller HBS’76 graduated from the U as the outstanding senior scholar in civil engineering, receiving an award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for his undergraduate honors thesis. Since earning his master’s degree (in design) from Stanford University, Fuller, founder and CEO of WET (Water Entertainment Technologies) Design, is widely recognized as a leader in technological innovation in “contextually motivated water features” (see Continuum, Fall 1999). Integrating water with invention led to the evolution of WET Design and Fuller’s signature “vanished pool” effect, or MiniShooter, which uses compressed air technology. He has incorporated environmental and economic savings in many of his designs for public spaces and owns 50 patents on water control, lighting, and air compression devices. Fuller has designed more than 100 fountains for venues ranging from Disney’s Epcot Center to Tokyo Dome to the Bellagio Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, which features the largest fountain ever built. Most recently, Fuller designed the cauldron for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, based on the Games’ theme of “Fire and Ice.”

Richard M. BS’68 and Susan P. Jacobsen BA’66 discovered common interests as students while working together on projects at Highland High School in Salt Lake City. That discovery led to marriage and eventually to the founding of the California Family Foundation in 1984. The foundation is dedicated to resolving educational, housing, and employment problems in low-income communities in and around Palo Alto, California. It has taken on projects such as the Beechwood School, now in its 15th year of operation, which provides educational opportunities to low-income families. The foundation also supports a housing program, which employs young men from the community, providing them with training in construction trades while building homes that are rented to low-income families.

In 1987 the Jacobsens proposed establishing a community service center in collaboration with the University, tying activities to the ideals and values exemplified by Lowell L. Bennion, a well-known community service advocate. Since then, the Bennion Community Service Center has become a major force in connecting the University with the community.

As an outgrowth of their involvement with youth programs, the Jacobsens also assumed responsibility for operating the Bennion Teton Ranch, a youth program for boys, originally begun by Bennion in 1961. The ranch has been expanded to include programs in leadership development, marriage enrichment, and community service for the students and staff of BYU Idaho. In the fall of 1996 the Jacobsens acquired the Quickwater Ranch to provide a similar summer program for girls.

Richard is a general partner in WSJ Properties in Palo Alto and member of the University of Utah National Advisory Council. He and Susan have five children.

Shirley Russon Ririe BS’50 is co-founder and artistic co-director of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, which she founded in 1964 with Joan Woodbury. Ririe taught at Virginia Tanner’s Conservatory of Creative Dance and at Brigham Young University before coming to the University of Utah in 1955, where she remained for 40 years, retiring in 1995. She has choreographed over 100 works for Ririe-Woodbury and other professional companies, and is a national leader in the field of dance for children.

Ririe received a Fulbright award in 1985 to teach and perform at the first national dance workshop in New Zealand. Other honors include the University’s Distinguished Woman of the Year award (1980), the Honors in Arts Award from the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce (1982), the Plaudit Award from the National Dance Association (1981), the Governor’s Award for Arts in Education (1990), the Dance Education Award from the Utah Education Association (1992), the Utah Alliance for Arts in Education Award for “artist,” the President’s Award from the National Dance Association, and an honorary doctorate from the U (1999).

Ririe and her husband, O. Rhees Ririe BS’50, have four daughters.

Honorary Alumna

Carol M. Fay
, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley (BA’58), is a woman of many “firsts.” She began a career in government (1961) as a claims representative with the Social Security Administration in San Francisco, and then became the first woman district manager of the Social Security Administration in Arizona (1969). She was later appointed Assistant Regional Commissioner (1978), and ultimately became the first woman district director of the Internal Revenue Service (1981-1996), where she fostered a number of innovative changes in the service, including recruitment of minorities and women and the implementation of an important American Cancer Society education program. Fay was also the first woman to hold positions as officer in the Salt Lake Rotary and chair of the National Board of Advisors of the College of Business and Graduate School of Business (1986-1989). She has received numerous awards at the local, state, and national levels for her achievements in program management and Equal Employment Opportunity accomplishments, including the American Society for Public Administration’s National Equal Opportunity/Exemplary Practices Award for making an outstanding contribution to a more equal society.

As major donors to health sciences, Fay and her husband have established the Richard A. and Carol M. Fay Presidential Endowed Fay Medical Informatics Center in the School of Medicine. She was honored in 2001 with the Distinguished Service Award from the School of Medicine’s Alumni Association for outstanding contributions to the school, the community, and the practice of medicine. Fay has also served as a founding member of the University Hospital Foundation Board, the Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Pain Medicine and Palliative Care Advisory Group, and the Department of Genetics Society for the Advancement of Genetic Exploration (SAGE).

Fay is currently a member of the University of Utah National Advisory Council and the Scholarship Committee of the University of Utah Women’s Club.