Road Tripping with the President: A Report from Our New Alumni Director
This June, I joined the university from my previous position as vice president of alumni relations at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Soon after, I had the opportunity to join President Ruth Watkins and other university officials on the southern leg of the U’s “Ruth 66 University for Utah Road Tour” to connect with business leaders, public officials, and members of the Utah higher education community. At every stop, President Watkins asked “How can we help?” as she sought to discover what the U can do to support the success of Utah’s businesses and local communities, as well as its other colleges and universities.
We stopped at Utah’s Silicon Slopes area and visited with Adobe and IM Flash, where we learned how global companies are seeking to create the most diverse workforce possible to serve an international customer base. We learned that the Utah economy needs engineers to fuel the growth of the high-tech sector—engineers who have problem-solving skills that come only from a world-class education. We met with government leaders in Provo to discuss issues of higher education affordability. Stopping at Beaver Valley Hospital, we learned how telemedicine is making best-in-class health care more accessible by extending the U’s medical expertise to rural areas. We visited the Cedar Livestock Market and discussed how drought conditions are forcing cattle to market earlier, a hardship in a state where agriculture represents 15 percent of the economy. We met with educators from Southern Utah University, Dixie State University, and Snow College, who talked with President Watkins about reducing student debt and increasing access to higher education for all Utahns.
One of our goals for the U’s Alumni Association is to strengthen support of our local chapters. For me, then, the highlight of the trip was an alumni dinner organized by the incredibly welcoming St. George Chapter. Special guest Mark Harlan, our new athletic director, gave an inspiring talk about continuing the U’s culture of winning in the competitive Pac-12 conference.
At every turn on our trip, I was struck by President Watkins’s ability to listen and her desire to connect the U with the forces driving progress and increasing quality of life in Utah. I noticed her unwavering focus on students and creating affordable educational opportunity for all. On returning to Salt Lake City, I felt very fortunate to be working at such an amazing university, one focused on benefiting its home state, its alumni, and each new generation of students.
Todd Andrews, Alumni Association Executive Director
2018 Homecoming Events
Homecoming U5K—Pull Out Your Running Shoes
On your mark, get set, run! The U's annual Homecoming Scholarship 5K & Kids 1K are right around the corner. Join the fun at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 20 at the recently renovated Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House just east of the Olpin Union.
Last fall, more than 800 people registered for the Homecoming U5K. It was an incredible day of running, camaraderie, and U pride. The U5K, which is organized by the Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Board, raised more than $60,000 last year for student scholarships and hopes to break that record this fall with your help.
If you live outside of Utah or can't attend that day, you can still sign up for the virtual U5K, which you can run, stroll, or walk anywhere, from the trail to the treadmill. Click the "virtual racer" button at registration. For more info and to register, visit U5K.fun.
Alumni Association Welcomes New Board Members
Six new members recently joined the Alumni Association Board of Directors. These volunteers help support the association and serve on committees ranging from scholarships to community service. We’re pleased to introduce each of the new members to you.
Cooley BA’92 is chief executive officer at Kenetics, a division of Garff Enterprises. Most of his career has been spent serving in the public, education, and technology sectors. At the U, Cooley served with the Bennion Center and was elected ASUU president. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the U and a master’s degree from Harvard University.
Mangum BA’78 is the owner of Sugar House Realty. She has served in many volunteer roles and on a number of community boards. Mangum is a member of the executive committee on the Educational Resource Development Council. She received her bachelor’s degree in English literature cum laude and also attended American College in Paris.
Hardy BS’89 BA’89, a partner at Aurora Capital, has spent his career in the private equity market, where he focuses on developing and implementing growth strategies. He graduated magna cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from the U and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1993.
Matinkhah MA’87 graduated at the top of her class at the University of the Philippines College of Architecture. At the U, she received a Rotary Foundation scholarship, a research fellowship, and the American Institute of Architects award. Matinkhah co-founded ARCOM, an architectural computer services company.
Romney BS’88 JD’91 is a judicial law clerk for U.S. District Judge Dee Benson and has been a pro bono attorney for the U. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science summa cum laude and was president of Delta Gamma sorority, and she was also involved in ASUU. She served as a Hinckley Institute intern in the U.S. Senate as well as the Utah Legislature.
Smith BA’88 is senior vice president at Moreton & Company, a Salt Lake City-based insurance broker. He has been with the firm for more than 20 years and previously spent eight years with a large national manufacturing company. Smith's community service has included being a Winter Olympics volunteer at Snow Basin. He graduated from the U with a bachelor’s degree in business finance.