Telitha E. Lindquist
She is involved with and joins her husband, John, in supporting the WSU College of Arts & Humanities, athletics, Stewart Library, John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics, and Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts. One of their very first major gifts in the early 1970s funded the Ada Lindquist Plaza, a beautiful entryway to the campus named in honor of John’s mother. The university’s Alumni Center bears the name of John A. and Telitha E. Lindquist.
It is, perhaps, through her love of the arts and her willingness to give of her time and her wealth to support the production and dissemination of all art forms—performing, visual, literary and creative arts—that she has established her greatest legacy.
She was especially instrumental in the founding, growth, and stability of the Ogden Symphony/ Ballet Association and is now an honorary member. She also served on the Board of Utah Musical Theatre — part of the university/community partnership in downtown Ogden — and continues to support and guide the organization as an honorary member.
Tita has been a long-time supporter of the Eccles Community Arts Center. She and John have made leadership gifts toward the restoration of the Peery’s Egyptian Theatre in downtown Ogden and to the 1999 renovation of the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts on the WSU campus. As a member of the WSU Visual Arts Advisory Committee, Tita was instrumental in the planning for the Ethel Wattis Kimball Visual Arts Center and the Lindquists provided the lead challenge gift for its construction.
Known for her quiet grace and humble demeanor, Tita showed another side by helping to establish a spectacular tribute to the people of Northern Utah. On the Sunday preceding July 24th, over 60,000 people spread their blankets on the campus of Weber State University to marvel in symphonic music and fireworks. This concert, the highlight of the summer for many families, provides an evening of classical music in an outdoor setting. Since 1978, sponsorship by the Lindquists family has made it free and open to all.
Tita’s involvement is rooted in a true love of the arts. She attends virtually everything — from Utah Symphony concerts to art exhibits by WSU faculty to student performances. Tita believes that the best support is to show up. And to both seasoned professional and budding artists, there is no greater praise.
Eccles Arts Center Director Sandy Havas states of Tita and John Lindquist, “They come to exhibit openings, spend time visiting with artists, and are the one family that has always stuck right by and supported the arts over the years. And, a lot of the things they do, they do quietly.”
Mrs. Lindquist states, “My husband and I believe strongly that creative opportunities are every bit as important a part of higher education as scientific research or business experiences.”
The Lindquist demonstrated their commitment to that belief by endowing the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities and by establishing the John A. and Telitha E. Lindquist Endowment for Creative and Artistic Endeavors in 2000.
Tita has been recognized for her service with a Governor’s Award in the Arts (2001), the Utah Society of Fundraisers “Philanthropic Leadership Award” (2001), and was named to the Weber Chamber’s “Wall of Fame” (1987). She received an honorary degree from Weber State in 1991 and a Distinguished Service Award from the WSU Alumni Association in 2003.
Tita has taken steps to ensure that her values continue by instilling a sense of philanthropy in her seven children, all of whom are building their own legacy of involvement and support.
Telitha E. Lindquist gives generously of her time, her energy, and her presence. She attends board meetings and contributes ideas, she has the vision to see the potential in others, she attends performances and exhibits and shows her appreciation of talent. She nurtures young students and the faculty who teach and mentor them. Tita Lindquist enriches our community, our campus and our state.
Telitha Ellis was born in Ogden in 1920 but moved to Lincolnshire, England at the age of seven when her father, a chemical engineer, was asked to manage the sugar-refining business near Woodhall Spa. In 1937, her mother returned to Ogden with Tita and her two brothers in tow for a year-long family vacation. When it became obvious that war was imminent, the family decided to stay in Utah while Tita’s father remained in England to manage the critically-needed sugar business.
Tita spent the next year at Ogden High School — though she was eligible to go to a university, her aunts prescribed a year of high school so that she could become “Americanized.” After receiving a high school diploma, she then attended the University of Utah where she was active in Chi Omega sorority and majored in business.
During that time, Tita began to make an impression on a Weber State University student named John A. Lindquist. Mature, pretty and petite, with “auburn hair and rosy cheeks,” she won his heart and on April 5, 1942 they were engaged. Less than one month later, John was inducted into the Army and was immediately sent to Texas. Tita remained in Salt Lake City, but in early May 1943, John arranged a “special” furlough, sent a telegraph home and within the month they were married.
As a war bride, Tita moved often during the next year; she rented tiny rooms in San Antonio and Childress, Texas; Salt Lake City; and then back to El Paso in an effort to see her new husband a few times a week ... or month! When John was shipped oversees in 1944, Tita, expecting their first child, again returned to Ogden to set up a home and begin a family
The Lindquists were fortunate. As the war ended, John was transferred, safe and sound, back to the states and he and his bride finally began their life together as a couple. While raising seven children, Tita has also touched the lives of others as a dedicated community and campus volunteer.