Vol. 13. No. 4
Spring 2004



The University of Utah again claimed victory over Brigham Young University in the annual food drive. Now in its 10th year, the drive is a friendly competition between the two schools that collects food and funds to benefit the Utah Food Bank, the United Way of Utah County, and thousands of needy Utahns.

This year’s drive, held from Nov. 10-22, resulted in the U’s collecting $21,527, compared to $19,519 for BYU. For their past efforts, both schools received the 2003 CASE Seal of Excellence for Community Service. CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) is an international organization that advances and supports educational institutions by enhancing the effectiveness of the alumni relations, communications, and fund-raising professionals who serve them.

The Utah- BYU food drive initiative was lauded as a program that can be used as a model for other institutions. Says John Ashton, executive director of the Alumni Association, “While it’s rewarding to have a won this year’s competition, the thing to remember is the end result: it provided about $40,000 to the Utah Food Bank just in time for the holidays. That’s the real satisfaction of the competition and a victory for both schools.”


For the past three years, the Alumni Association, through its Community Service Committee, has been a participant in Operation School Bell. Sponsored by the Assistance League of Utah, the program provides new clothes for needy children in elementary schools along the Wasatch Front.

Volunteers from the Association, including staff and members of the alumni boards, have helped the Assistance League distribute the clothes. According to Manny Martinez ex’69, former chair of the Association’s Community Service Committee, helping with the program has been both fun and rewarding. (See Continuum, Spring 2002.)

For its collaborative efforts, the Association recently received recognition from the National Assistance League (NAL): an award “presented to the University of Utah Alumni Association for outstanding service to the children of Salt Lake City and to Operation School Bell.”

Says Assistance League volunteer Valerie Mercer, chair of Operation School Bell in Utah, “The award [to the Association] was so well deserved because, as the Operation School Bell program grows, our human resources get stretched. This year, we provided clothes for almost 5,000 children—the largest number of any chapter in the country,” she notes. “We just wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the task without the assistance of the Alumni Association.”


The Beehive Honor Society (BHS) was founded at the U in 1913 to honor graduating seniors who have demonstrated leadership, scholarship, and service to the University and the community. BHS is directed by a 10-member board that raises money through the sale of Beehive medallions and voluntary contributions. These donations are used to help fund scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each year.

The new BHS officers and board members for 2003-04 are:

Candace Anderson Rideout BFA’65, president, is a sales consultant with Kirkham and Friends Real Estate, as well as an artist. She and her husband, Stephen Rideout ex’68, have eight children.

JoAnn Eardley Miller BA’68, president-elect, is an interior designer with her own company, CJ Design. She and her husband, Gary Miller BS’65, have four children.

Jim Davis BS’72 was administrator and mayor of South Salt Lake for 16 years before serving for two years as director of housing and economic development for Salt Lake City Corporation. He is now in private real estate and development. Davis and his wife, Susan Smith Davis BS’71, have seven children, including two sets of twins.

Charlotte Garff Jacobsen BA’64, a former member of the Alumni Association board, is chair of the Bennion Center advisory board, serves on the board of the Belle Spafford Endowed Chair for the School of Social Work, and is a member of the International Student board. She and her husband, Ted Jacobsen BS’65, have seven children.

John Pingree BA’64, former director of the Utah Transit Authority, currently works for the Semnani Foundation, which finds and funds projects that serve women and children throughout the world. He and his wife, Carmen Boyden Pingree BA’65 MS’83, have five children.



Each year the Emeritus Alumni Association presents its prestigious Merit of Honor Award to prominent alumni who graduated 40 or more years ago, for their outstanding professional achievements and service to the University and the community. The 2004 honorees are:

John W. Bennion BS’61 MA’62, a well-known educator in the Salt Lake area, was superintendent of the Salt Lake City School District from 1985 to 1994. He received the University of Utah College of Education’s Distinguished Service Award in 1997. While at the U, Bennion served as student body president and was a member of the Beehive Honor Society and Owl & Key.

Sue Douglas Christensen BS’56 is currently vice chair of the University Development Office Scholarship Fund Drive, which has raised $35 million in scholarship funds. She is also a member of the University’s National Advisory Council and a past member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. Christensen was a founding member of the Ramsey Group real estate company and received the Salt Lake Board of Realtors Salesman of the Year award in 1984.

L. Richard (Dick) Raybould BS’50, retired from the U.S. Army, was awarded Bronze and Silver Stars for his actions in Korea and Vietnam. He also received the Legion of Merit award from the president of the United States for his leadership in the development of a U.S. Army computer information system. After returning to Utah, Raybould headed the State of Utah Division of Data Processing. He has served as a member of the Emeritus Alumni Association board and the Crimson Club.

Karen Felker Shepherd BA’62 was a Utah state senator from 1990 to 1992, and in 1993 was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where she served one term. A businesswoman and writer, Shepherd founded Webster Publishing Company. She currently sits on the advisory board of the David Eccles School of Business.

Lynn T. Staheli MD’59 is president and founder of Global-HELP Organization, established to create and distribute health publications to improve health care in developing countries. He also founded and financed a program to train overseas physicians in pediatric orthopedics, and is widely published in his field. A research chair in pediatric orthopedics at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Wash., was recently named in Staheli’s honor.

Paula Margetts Swaner Smoot BA’49 MA’72 MS’78 PhD’86 established the 1,100-acre Swaner Nature Preserve in Summit County, Utah, in 1993. She is dedicated to the preservation, education, and nurturing of the environment. Smoot is currently in private practice as a clinical psychologist.

Jay E. Welch PhD’59, former conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, taught in the U’s School of Music until his retirement in 1993. He received the Distinguished Teaching Award and was frequently chosen as “outstanding professor” and “favorite professor” by students. Welch founded and conducted the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus, and the Jay Welch Chorale. Retired, he continues to conduct, compose, arrange, orchestrate, engrave, publish, educate, and entertain.




The alumni selected to receive the Distinguished Alumni Awards for 2004 represent an array of professionals, from a founder of an airline to an autism expert, from a conductor of a famous choir to a history-making public servant. All have made outstanding contributions to the community.

David Neeleman ex’81, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue Airways Corporation

In February 2000, David Neeleman launched his third successful aviation business, JetBlue Airways, which now serves 22 cities across the United States. In 2003, for the second consecutive year, JetBlue was rated “Best Domestic Airline” in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2003 Readers’ Choice Awards. Neeleman began his career in aviation in 1984 when he co-founded the low-fare carrier Morris Air. Following the sale of Morris Air and a short period with Southwest Airlines, Neeleman developed his electronic ticketing system into Open Skies, a widely used airline reservation system, which he sold to Hewlett Packard in 1999. Neeleman has generously supported U of U athletics and business programs. He lives with his wife, Vicki Neeleman, and their nine children in New Canaan, Conn.

Jerold Ottley MFA’67, Former Musical Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Musician-conductor Jerold Ottley will forever be associated with the 320-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir. For 25 years he oversaw the choir’s activities, including conducting the choir in recordings and concerts around the world. Under Ottley’s direction, the choir earned five gold records. Ottley also taught at the School of Music for many years. He has received numerous honors and accolades, including the Governor’s Commendation, BYU’s Presidential Citation, and the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Honors in the Arts award. He is married to JoAnn Ottley ex’55, soprano soloist, vocal coach, and teacher. Together, they directed the Choir Training School at Temple Square, the preparation program for prospective members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The Ottleys have two grown children.

Carmen B. Pingree BA’65 MS’83, Consultant in Autism Genetic Studies

Carmen Pingree and her husband, John Pingree BA’64, have been indefatigable advocates for children and adults with autism ever since their son Brian was diagnosed with the condition. Pingree has been instrumental in getting legislation passed to fund educational programs and research into autism, has helped secure funding for the Autism Society of Utah, of which she is president, and served as an autism research consultant to Stanford and Utah State Universities, and the University of Utah. In recognition of her efforts, the new school of autism in Salt Lake is named the Carmen B. Pingree School of Autism. A dedicated supporter of the University, Pingree has also been chair of the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities, and on the boards of the Children’s Justice Center and Primary Children’s Medical Center, among others. She has received numerous awards, including the Consumer Advocate Award from the Utah Public Health System. The Pingrees have five children.

Olene Walker PhD’87, Governor of Utah

On Nov. 23, 2003, Olene Walker made history by becoming Utah’s first woman governor. Walker, who was serving as the state’s first woman lieutenant governor, took over after Gov. Michael Leavitt resigned to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Walker began her political career in the Utah House of Representatives, serving as assistant majority whip and majority whip (1981-89). She was also founder and director of the Salt Lake Education Foundation and vice president of a family business, Country Crisp Foods (1969-1992). As lieutenant governor, Walker chaired the Healthcare Reform Task Force, which established the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and was a strong advocate for children’s literacy. She has been honored with the 2002 Community Leaders Award from the Points of Light Foundation and with the establishment of the Olene S. Walker Housing Trust Fund. She and her husband, Myron Walker, have seven children.


Clyde M. Heiner, Retired President and CEO of Questar InfoComm, Inc., Interstate Land Corporation and Questar Development Company, and Vice President, Entrada Industries

Clyde Heiner’s varied responsibilities with Questar InfoComm and Entrada Industries focused on investigating internal and external opportunities for corporate growth and development, and overseeing legal and corporate communications, data processing, and telecommunications. A licensed professional engineer, Heiner was previously vice president of engineering at Mountain Fuel Supply Company, and has been a member of the College of Engineering’s Industrial Advisory Board. Heiner has held a number of voluntary public service positions, including chair of the Business- Education Partnership and the Utah Taxpayers Association. He is also vice chair of the Utah Partnership for Educational Economic Development Board. Heiner is married to Gail Tanner, and they have eight children.


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