Merit of Honor Awards Recognize Five U Alumni
The University of Utah Emeritus Alumni Board selected five exemplary alumni to receive its 2013 Merit of Honor Awards. The annual awards recognize U alumni who graduated 40 or more years ago or who are age 65 or older, and whose careers have been marked by outstanding service to the University, their professions, and their communities. This year’s winners were Jess A. Agraz BS’65 MS’71, Virginia “Ginny” Albo BS’63, Dixie S. Huefner MS’77 JD’86, Elaine S. Marshall BS’72 MS’79 PhD’88, and John C. Nelson MD’69 MPH’93. The Emeritus Alumni Board hosted a Merit of Honor Awards Banquet in November to recognize them.
Agraz, until his retirement in 2004, spent 40 years working on transportation-related issues at the local, state, and national levels. From 1997 to 2004, he served as executive director of the Transportation Management Association of Utah, a public/private partnership formed by the business community to address transportation issues associated with the 2002 Olympics. Before that, he worked as a transportation consultant and project manager in the private sector, with Bingham Engineering. He was elected Salt Lake City Commissioner of Public Works in 1976 and served in the post for four years. His current community involvement includes serving as a board member for the U Hospital Foundation, U Health Science Advocates, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, and U SAGE Associates.
Albo has been a tireless community advocate and volunteer. She serves on the board and actively volunteers with Catholic Community Services, and she received that group’s Award for Community Dedication in 1999, as well as its Humanitarian Award with her husband, Dr. Dominic Albo, in 2005. She also is a past president and member of the board for the Guadalupe School, and she received the school’s “Yes Santa, There is a Virginia” Award in 1987 and the Suzanne Weiss Believer In Education Award in 2007. At the University of Utah, she has been a member of the Emeritus Alumni Board, the President’s Club Committee, and the Pioneer Theatre Company board.
Huefner has had a long and distinguished career as an expert in special-education law. She worked as a full-time faculty member in the U’s Department of Special Education from 1990 to 2007 and was a part-time clinical faculty member from 1978 to 1989. Prior to joining the U faculty, she worked with organizations including the Salt Lake County Welfare Department, the Joint Center for Urban Studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, and the Ford Foundation. In 2011, she received the Distinguished Woman of the Year Award from the Salt Lake chapter of the American Association of University Women. In 2013, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the U’s College of Education.
Marshall will be chair of the Department of Health Restorations and Care Systems Management at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio starting in January. Since 2007, she has worked as a nursing professor at Georgia Southern University, where she also has been director of the Center for Nursing Scholarship and helped launch the first interdisciplinary rural health research institute in Georgia and the Southeast region. Prior to moving to Georgia, she was a dean and professor with Brigham Young University’s College of Nursing from 1988 to 2007. In 2012, she was named a Fellow with the American Academy of Nursing, one of the highest honors in the field.
Nelson, a professor in the U’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, works as chief medical officer for both Leavitt Partners and TruClinic. He also is a gynecologist and primary care provider for the Health Clinics of Utah, an outpatient clinic that serves patients with little or no medical insurance. From 2004 to 2005, he served as president of the American Medical Association, and he was president of the Utah Medical Association in 1989 and 1990. In 2009, Nelson received the W. Montague Cobb Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Medical Association. As a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, his active duty service included the Vietnam War in 1970 and 1971.
Nagoya Exchange Program Celebrates 50 Years
The Nagoya Study Tour program celebrated its 50th anniversary with two events at the University of Utah this year.
A collaborative effort between the Nagoya Broadcasting Network (NBN) and the University of Utah, the exchange program brought more than 300 students from Nagoya, Japan, to Utah and the United States over the course of nearly 30 years, from 1963 to 1992. In July of this year, seven former exchange students from Nagoya came back to the U to reunite with members of their Salt Lake City host families and U employees who had helped with the program over the years. Several more former participants reunited for a celebration at the U in September. In addition to attending receptions in honor of the program, the former students also heard from U leaders, including U President David W. Pershing, as well as Fred Esplin MA’74, the U’s vice president for institutional advancement; Michael Hardman BS’71 MEd’73 PhD’75, the U’s chief global officer; John Ashton BS’66 JD’69, the Alumni Association’s executive director; and Nelly Divricean BS’09 MS’12, international alumni relations manager.
The exchange program was the brainchild of then University of Utah President A. Ray Olpin and was sponsored by the Nagoya Broadcasting Network. Japanese students visited the United States for five weeks each summer, all expenses paid, staying in University of Utah dorms while studying at the U, touring the nation (including not just visits to classic “tourist” spots but also meeting with select professors on various campuses), and then living with host families in Salt Lake City. Long-lasting relationships developed over the years, and many of the host families from Utah later visited their students in Japan.
Former program administrators Boyer Jarvis and Mel Young were among the guests from the U at the July celebration, as well as Mayumi Call, who helped with the exchange program for many years, when her first husband, Bob Mukai, worked with Jarvis on the program. “The Nagoya Study Tour has been a great catalyst in fostering understanding between Utah and Japan,” Young says, and it resulted in many business and educational exchanges, in addition to personal friendships. Read more about the June reunion here, and the September reunion here, both in the Alumni Association’s e-newsletter, Alumni Connection.
Founders Day Banquet Planned for February
The University of Utah Alumni Association will honor five outstanding graduates of the U and one honorary alumnus with 2014 Founders Day Awards. A scholarship winner also will be recognized. The 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are Kem Gardner BA’67 JD’70, Charlotte Jacobsen BA’64, Ted Jacobsen BS’65, Frederick Kempe BA’76, and Don Yacktman BS’65. The Honorary Alumnus Award winner is John Bloomberg (B.S. 1957, Amherst College; MBA 1962, Harvard). The scholarship winner will be announced at a later date. (Read more about them in the upcoming Spring 2014 issue of Continuum.) A Founders Day Banquet will be held in their honor on February 20 at the Little America Hotel. If you’d like to attend, click here for more information and to register.
Alumni Homecoming Events Net $73,000 for Scholarships
The University of Utah Alumni Association raised about $73,000 for U scholarships for deserving students through its fundraising events during Homecoming week.
Homecoming began Saturday, September 7, when scores of volunteers turned out to participate in the Legacy of Lowell Community Service Day. The following Tuesday, campus groups decorated their areas to reflect this year’s Homecoming theme, “True to U.”
The U’s emeritus alumni—those who graduated 40 or more years ago (or who have reached age 65)—gathered for their Homecoming reunion on Wednesday evening, with dinner and then tours of the new Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center. Fraternity and sorority members competed in song and dance at Songfest on Thursday. Students and alumni then gathered for a pep rally at the Union Building on Thursday night.
Friday began with the U Alumni Association hosting the Homecoming Scholarship Scramble, a golf tournament at Bonneville Golf Course. Under the leadership of this year’s tournament chairman, Lewis Dickman BS’75, the golf tourney netted about $35,000 for U scholarships. Friday night, students gathered for the annual Homecoming dance, held at The Depot at The Gateway shopping center in Salt Lake City.
The Young Alumni 5K and KidsK on Saturday morning, September 14, raised about $38,000 for U scholarships. The crowds headed in the direction of Rice-Eccles Stadium in the afternoon for the Alumni Association’s pregame tailgate party on Guardsman Way and then watched the Utes duke it out with Oregon State in an overtime heartbreaker.