By Kelsey Keener
Iron County Today
CEDAR CITY–The SUU Founders Week Dinner and Awards ceremony was held last Thursday in the Great Hall of the R. Haze Hunter Conference Center at SUU. SUU Vice President for Alumni and Community Relations and host Mindy Benson welcomed guests and honorees, and recognized community leaders who attended. Then dinner was served, with music provided by the Washburn Family Bluegrass Band.
Following dinner, SUU President Scott L. Wyatt presented three awards for distinguished service to the Syrett Family, accepted by Lanch Syrett; Gae Lynn Froyd and Richard Dotson.
The Syrett Family moved from Panguitch to the Bryce Canyon area in 1916 and continues to operate Ruby’s Inn. The Syretts have upheld the values of Reuben (“Ruby”) and Minnie Syrett, and continue to give back to their community. They are involved in many community development initiatives and support SUU’s Semester in the Parks program as well as scholarships for the university.
Gae Lynn Froyd recently retired from her position of Southern Utah Regional Manager for Questar Gas and has been a supporter of SUU for many years. She has helped facilitate many contribution requests for the region as well as for SUU.
Richard Dotson taught at SUU for 20 years and continues to contribute to the university. Seventeen years after his retirement from teaching, Dotson is still among the most recognized of campus community members. His award-winning teaching was invaluable due to his ability to teach computer science at a time when very few could.
Founders Week 2018 marks SUU’s 121st anniversary, and President Wyatt thanked guests for their support in helping the university achieve a recent 61 percent increase in the number of degrees awarded. President Wyatt said although SUU is not the fastest growing school in Utah based on the number of students who attend, it is the fastest growing based on the number of students who leave with degrees and prepared to work.
“For that we’re very proud and very grateful for all your support, because it couldn’t happen without the donations, scholarships, services help, great teaching, mentoring, and everything else,” he said.
Rather than listing several recent accomplishments of the university, as has been traditionally done in the past, President Wyatt presented the university’s number one accomplishment: the people who are leading SUU. He recognized Benson; Provost Brad Cook; Vice President of Institutional Advancement Stuart Jones; Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion Shvalla Rivera; Vice President of Finance and Administration Marvin Dodge; Associate Dean in Graduate and online School and Associate Professor of Music Steve Meredeth; vice president for Student Affairs; Jared Tippits; Athletic Director Debbir Corum; Board of Trustees Chairman Eric Leavitt; Board of Trustees Vice Chair Sherrie Hansen; and the Board of Trustees.