WSU Names 2009 Honorary Degree Recipients

OGDEN, Utah – During its 133rd commencement, Weber State University will award honorary degrees to the president of Overland West, Inc.; a longtime supporter of the Ogden/Weber community; a legendary former WSU track coach; and a local philanthropist who established a scholarship endowment for WSU students. 

The recipients are: Jerry H. Petersen of Ogden; E. Rich Brewer of North Ogden; Charles C. "Chick" Hislop of Ogden; and Betty Hinckley Nibley of Ogden. Their degrees will be conferred during commencement exercises May 1 at 8 a.m. at the Dee Events Center.

Jerry H. Petersen 

Petersen is the president of Overland West, Inc., North America's largest independent franchisee for the Hertz Car Rental System, and has served WSU and the community in various capacities throughout his life. A Weber State alumnus, he is a member of WSU's National Advisory Council and the Dean's Advisory Council for the John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics. He has been a trustee of the Weber State University Foundation and president of the Wildcat Club. For two years, Petersen served as chairman of the state's Department of Business and Economic Development.

Petersen will deliver this year's commencement address.

E. Rich Brewer

Part-owner and finance officer of the J.W. Brewer Tire Co., Brewer also is an active member of the community. He is a member of the McKay-Dee Board of Trustees, Ogden Dinosaur Park and Museum Foundation, Utah Wetlands Foundation, WSU Wildcat Club and the Goddard School Dean's Advisory Council. In the 1990s, Brewer was active in promoting the restoration of Peery's Egyptian Theater and building of the David Eccles Conference Center in Ogden. He also has served as the McKay-Dee Hospital Foundation chairman, Ogden Rotary Club president, Ogden Industrial Development Corp. president and Weber Economic Development Corp. chairman. 

Charles C. "Chick" Hislop

For more than 35 years, Hislop coached the cross country and track and field teams at Weber State, making him the longest-tenured coach in the history of the Big Sky Conference. When he retired in December 2006, Hislop had coached student-athletes in 106 individual conference championships and more than 1,000 total meets. His cross country teams won seven conference championships, two district championships and placed in the top 20 at nationals nine times, including a fourth-place finish in 1991. Under Hislop, the Wildcats also won five indoor and nine outdoor track and field conference championships. He was an assistant coach at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and has been inducted into WSU's and the state of Utah's athletic hall of fames.

Betty Hinckley Nibley 

Nibley is actively involved with the Hinckley Investment Committee and founding of the Abrelia Seely Hinckley Scholarships at WSU. The endowment has a market value of more than $6 million and has supported more than 750 students at the university. As an undergraduate, she earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Utah where she was student body vice president and a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. 

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Marsha Richter, assistant to the president
801-626-6573 • 
Travis Clemens, assistant director of Media Relations
801-626-7948 •