OGDEN, Utah – During its 129th commencement, Weber State University will award honorary degrees to the president and chief executive officer of a well-known wireless communications provider; a veteran and retired professor who is known for his philanthropic activities; a community volunteer and advocate for children, education and the arts; and a former WSU professor who helped build a dynamic child and family studies department.
The recipients are: Robert P. Dotson of Bellevue, Wash.; Vernon M. Buehler of Logan; Sharon Rich Lewis of Ogden; and Carol C. Tribe of Ogden. Their degrees will be conferred during commencement exercises May 3 at 6 p.m. at the Dee Events Center.
Robert P. Dotson
Dotson is president and CEO of T-Mobile USA, a national provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services. In 1987, the Ogden native graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in economics from then-Weber State College. He received his MBA in 1989 from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., focusing on marketing and finance. Dotson first joined T-Mobile USA as vice president of marketing, overseeing the early development of the VoiceStream brand, T-Mobile’s predecessor. He was largely responsible for developing and launching the company’s “Get More” marketing program and award-winning advertising campaign featuring spokeswoman Jamie Lee Curtis. Prior to T-Mobile USA, Dotson held senior marketing positions at PepsiCo. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from WSU in 2005. Dotson will deliver this year’s commencement address.
Vernon M. Buehler
Buehler had a distinguished 27-year military career that began prior to World War II and included stints in India and Korea. Upon retiring as a colonel, he taught business administration for more than 20 years at Utah State University, where he founded the COB Partners Program. After retiring from USU, Buehler nursed his wife of 50 years, MaRee Clawson, until her death from Parkinson’s disease in 1990. During the 1990s, he joined WSU’s John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics as a consultant engaged in enriching its international programs, and later taught at institutions in Poland, Ukraine and Russia. Buehler holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Utah State Agricultural College, an MBA from Harvard and a Ph.D. in economics from George Washington University. His philanthropic and charitable activities continue to keep him busy.
Sharon Rich Lewis
Lewis, a community volunteer and advocate, began her tradition of service as a young woman when she joined the Junior League of Ogden. She has since spent countless hours promoting the well-being of children, the importance of education, and the value of the arts and humanities. Currently the president of the Junior E. and Blanche B. Rich Foundation, Lewis has helped direct gifts to a number of programs that have touched the entire Ogden community. At Weber State, for example, foundation contributions have helped support the university’s annual storytelling festival, the Families Alive Conference, the National Undergraduate Literature Conference and many other programs. Through the foundation, Lewis also has helped direct gifts to a number of community organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the Child Abuse Prevention Council and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to name a few. She has served on many of the organizations’ boards. Lewis graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in art history.
Carol C. Tribe
Tribe began her 28-year-long career in 1956 in the family life department at Weber College, as it was then known. Over the years, she earned the title of associate professor, played an important role in what would become the university’s Department of Child and Family Studies, and became one of the first women to serve on the college’s faculty senate executive committee. Dedicated first to her students (she was nominated three times for Professor of the Year awards), Tribe felt her second priority was to help build a dynamic department. She was instrumental in designing and writing a new, modularized curriculum that eventually was used at colleges and off-campus early childhood education programs in six states. The innovative methods used to deliver the curriculum to off-campus sites earned her the privilege of speaking at the International Conference for Distance Education in New Delhi, India. Tribe earned two bachelor’s degrees from Utah State University, one in foods and nutrition and the other in home economics education, and a master’s degree in family life education from USU.
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