Top achievers to receive honorary degrees at Weber State commencement

OGDEN, Utah — For their contributions in teaching, business, philanthropy and healthcare, Weber State University will recognize two alums and one community leader at its 162nd commencement ceremony April 26 at the Dee Events Center in Ogden. 

Honorary degree recipients are nominated and chosen based on their contributions to society, their interest and support for higher education, and for rendering outstanding service to the Weber State. 

Jane Marquardt 

A businesswoman, philanthropist, social activist and attorney, Marquardt believes in lifting those who are less fortunate through service and giving. Marquardt currently serves as vice chair on the Management & Training Corporation Board of Directors and as MTC’s director of international business development. From 1977 to 2007, she practiced law with a focus on tax and estate planning, and is a member of the Utah State Bar and LGBT and Allied Lawyers of Utah.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Marquardt strives to see every individual treated with respect and dignity. She and her spouse, Tami, established the Marquardt Peace & Possibility Speaker Series as part of WSU’s LGBT Resource Center, now known as the LGBTQ+ Center. She has previously served on the WSU Board of Trustees and was awarded the WSU Salutes President’s Award in 2016. 

Craig Oberg

With more than 40 years of teaching under his belt, Oberg is a familiar face for many at Weber State. He graduated from WSU in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and went on to earn his Ph.D. in microbiology from Utah State University. He returned to Weber State, intending to teach for only a year, but remained in Ogden for the rest of his career. 

Craig’s focus on microbial genetics and ecology inspired research on ways to improve the microbiology of fermented dairy products by modifying the genetics of the organisms used to make them. During his tenure, he has served as Faculty Athletics Representative and helped the university achieve NCAA accreditation multiple times.

His many honors include Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor, John S. Hinckley Fellow, H. Aldous Dixon Award and College of Science Endowed Scholar. 

Jodi L. Smith

A WSU alum and softball player, Smith is a pediatric neurosurgeon at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent Pediatric Neurosurgery in Indianapolis, Indiana. Smith specializes in surgical care for pediatric brain, spine and nerve system conditions, treating children with the most complex brain and spine conditions. 

Smith is the founder and co-director of the pediatric surgical epilepsy program at Riley Hospital for Children, Indiana University School of Medicine where she also serves as an associate professor of neurological surgery. In 2008, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award for WSU Salutes.


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