Alum News News from fellow grads and the Alumni Association.

Five Alumni Recognized with Merit of Honor Awards

The Emeritus Alumni Board selected five outstanding alumni to receive 2016 Merit of Honor Awards. The annual awards recognize university of Utah alumni who graduated 40 or more years ago (or who have reached age 65 or better) whose careers have been marked by outstanding service to the university, their professions, and their communities. This year’s recipients are highlighted below.

To recognize them, the Emeritus Alumni Board hosted a banquet in their honor in November. Martha Bradley BFA’74 PhD’87, associate vice president for academic affairs at the U, served as the featured speaker, while Rex Thornton BS’72, a past president of the U Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, was the evening’s master of ceremonies.

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Jack Ashton


Jack Ashton BA’65 played the violin with the Utah Symphony for 48 years, 25 of those as the assistant principal chair. He has also instructed up to 40 private students at any time and taught public school for nearly four decades. Now retired, he still has 30 private students and teaches weekly at Snow College. Widely loved, he has been a great influence on thousands of students. He and his wife, Marie, are the parents of eight children.


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Karen Crompton


Karen Crompton BS’71 is director of the Salt Lake County Department of Human Services. Before that, she served 13 years as president of Voices for Utah Children. She is deeply committed to child welfare, a champion for women in the workplace, and actively involved in her community. Her prior recognition includes being named Utah’s 2014 Golden Spike Community Activist of the Year. She and her husband, David, have two sons.


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James R. Holbrook


James R. Holbrook JD’74, a clinical professor of law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, teaches negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. A recipient of many awards and author of numerous ADR publications, he served as the principal investigator on the law school’s $10 million U.S. State Department-funded project in Baghdad, which provided legal assistance to the government and judiciary of Iraq. He is married to Meghan Zanolli Holbrook.


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Stanley B. Parrish


Stanley B. Parrish ex’61 is president and CEO of the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce. He served as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as associate deputy administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration, served in Utah Gov. Norm Bangerter’s cabinet as an executive director, and was president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. He and his wife, Joyce, are the parents of six children.

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Judi Short


Judi Short MPA’92 was employed at the U for 38 years, working mostly in the Office of Graduate Medical Education, including as director. A recipient of many community awards, she chairs the Sugar House Community Council’s Land Use Committee, is a member of the League of Women Voters, and leads a team of Master Gardeners who maintain Gilgal Sculpture Garden. She and her husband, Wade C. Jones, have five children.

New Career Coach Hired for Alumni

GleasonThe Alumni Association welcomes a new Alumni Career Services program manager and career coach, Amy Gleason. In what she calls the “wandering map” of her career, Gleason got her start working as a child protection caseworker in California and Colorado, where she spent more than a decade teaching independent living skills to foster care teens, homeless youth, and teen parents. She eventually transitioned into a case management supervisory role with a large hospital system. After 11 years, the hospital faced budget cuts and Amy was laid off, “smack dab in mid-career, on top of my game” she says.

What followed was an unexpected but welcome career transition that would eventually lead her to higher-ed career coaching. After her layoff, she experienced firsthand the value of career coaching and learning new skills, which motivated her to start her own business. Gleason discovered a passion for teaching career prep and English language skills to professionals from all over the world, coaching them for interviews, presentations, and business communication.

Now, she is bringing her career training expertise to the U to help alumni gain the skills and confidence needed to explore new career options, transition jobs, or find a dream job. She says, “It’s never too late to find the job that is your match, regardless of your age or experience.” Gleason offers one-on-one coaching to all U alumni—in Utah, nationally, and even internationally. She invites all interested alumni to visit the university’s alumni career fairs, networking events, and workshops to assist in growing their skill set and career enthusiasm. For more information, visit

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Homecoming 2016 Highlights

We danced. We golfed. We decorated. We raced. We tailgated. We cheered. We won.

Alumni and friends celebrated Homecoming 2016 with all the longstanding University of Utah traditions. Highlights this year included the return of the Homecoming Golf Tournament, a new route for the scholarship 5K race (moved during the Alumni House remodel), and the second-half comeback of the football team for the win against Arizona 36–23.

Check out some of our favorite snapshots below to relive the Homecoming 2016 festivities.

Web Exclusive Photo Gallery

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Alumni Association Scholarships: Made Possible by You

Each spring, the University of Utah Alumni Association is honored to award more than half a million dollars of scholarship money to students, ranging from incoming freshmen to graduate students. That amount usually surprises people, and we are often asked where the money comes from. The simple response is: From you, our alumni and friends.

Whether you’re driving with a U license plate or running in our annual Homecoming 5K race, you’re a contributor. Here, we break down the numbers, including the source of funds as well as scholarship recipient and eligibility information.

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Beaches on the Amalfi Coast

See the World with Fellow Alumni

Who wants to travel with complete strangers when you can hang out with fellow University of Utah alums? The Alumni Association is now booking travel for 2017, and you’ll not only get to enjoy some very attractive destinations but get to do so in the company of people you have something in common with. Below is a sampling of some of our spring and summer trips.

May 17-25: Springtime in Provence and Burgundy

May 23-June 1: Vineyards & Vignettes from Lisbon to London

May 27-June 4: Peru Escapade to the Andes

July 26-Aug. 7: Italy’s National Parks and Grottoes

July 28-Aug. 7: Glacial Adventures of Alaska

For more details, destinations, or to sign up for any of our trips, visit alumni.utah. edu/travel or call Nanette Richard at 801-581-3708.

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