WSU Salutes to Honor Outstanding Alumni and Friends

OGDEN, Utah – The 38th Annual WSU Salutes program will be held Sept. 20 at the David Eccles Conference Center in Ogden. The awards program, hosted by the Weber State University Alumni Association, recognizes outstanding WSU alumni and friends for their contributions to campus and the community.

“We are very proud of these individuals, and the WSU Salutes program is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments,” said Lynell Gardner, executive director of the WSU Alumni Association. “We invite everyone to join us as we honor them.”

Alumni recipients this year are Anabel Hofer of the Swanson Foundation, UCLA Coach Ben Howland, Cinemark CEO Alan Stock, Young Alumna Amanda Rogers Thorpe and former Governor Olene S. Walker.  Hank Hemingway will be honored for his community service and Merle E. and Dahrl R. Allen will be crowned Emeriti Homecoming Royalty.

The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. at the Eccles Conference Center, 2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, and is open to the public. For additional information contact the WSU Alumni Association at 801-626-7535.

Bios of 2007 WSU Salutes Recipients:

Distinguished Alumnus
Ben Howland: Building Champions
Ben Howland knows how to win. Now a world-class basketball coach, Howland began his career on the court as a Wildcat, graduating from WSU in 1979. Howland currently serves as the head coach for the UCLA men’s basketball team, where he guides his team using fundamentals of intensity and teamwork. That philosophy, which has led UCLA to the NCAA Championship game two years in a row,  helped Howland achieve success coaching Northern Arizona University and the University of Pittsburgh teams. His humility and perseverance garnered him a National Coach of the Year title in 2002.
Distinguished Alumnus
Alan W. Stock: Entertaining Millions
Under the expert eye of Alan W. Stock, Cinemark Holdings, the third largest movie exhibitor in the United States, has grown to more than 300 theaters housing over 3,200 screens in the United States and Latin America. Stock acts as the president and chief executive officer of Cinemark, but still finds time to serve his alma mater on WSU’s National Advisory Council, his local PTA organization, the Boy Scouts of America, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and his church.

Outstanding Young Alumna
Amanda Rogers Thorpe: Serving a Nation
Amanda Rogers Thorpe, military legislative assistant for Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, coordinates WSU activities for alumni in Washington, D.C. Currently a master’s candidate in Strategic Security Studies from the School for National Security Executive Education at National Defense University in Washington, D.C., Thorpe began her career in politics as College Democrats President at WSU and also served as a Student Lobbyist and Government Relations Director before graduating in 2002.
Distinguished Service
Henry S. “Hank” Hemingway: Providing for the Future
Henry S. “Hank” Hemingway, president of Hemingway Enterprises, is a former educator and now a business executive who understands the importance of high-quality opportunities for all populations. Hemingway was born and raised in Ogden and graduated from Ogden High School. A substantial Hemingway family gift bestowed to WSU in 1989 and managed by Hemingway has helped more than 400 WSU faculty members through the Hemingway Faculty Vitality Award program. Hemingway is an outspoken supporter of WSU.

Lewis W. Shurtliff Award for Contributions to Education
Annabel Hofer: Continuing Education

As executive director and academic program manager of the Dr. W.C. Swanson Family Foundation, Annabel Hofer is an outstanding advocate for education, as well as a 1972 WSU graduate. She locally sponsors the Reading Rainbow Bus, a program that encourages reading in elementary schools. Hofer is vital to the program’s success, meeting with school counselors and reviewing individual school programs. Since 1983, the Swanson Foundation has provided substantial support to a wide variety of programs at WSU. The Swanson Scholarship Endowment, which supports nontraditional, early college and automotive technology students, has helped nearly 300 students since the endowment’s inception in 1990.

Emeriti Lifetime Achievement
Governor Olene S. Walker: Setting New Standards
Former Utah Governor Olene S. Walker, the first female governor of Utah, has accomplished much through her work to improve housing, education, health care and community development. An Ogden native, Walker attended WSU in 1953 and currently serves on the WSU National Advisory Council. Walker received an honorary degree from WSU in 1997. The Salt Lake Education Foundation and Utah Division of Community Development have benefited from her service as director. She acted as chairwoman of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, the Utah Housing Coordinating Committee and the Governor’s Commission on Child Care.
Emeriti Homecoming Royalty
Merle E. and Dahrl R. Allen: Redefining Royalty
Longtime Ogden residents Merle E. and Dahrl R. Allen are avid supporters of the local community and have worked to enhance the quality of life and education at WSU and beyond. Merle’s dedication to educational leadership began early as student body president at both Weber High School and Weber College and culminated in his becoming director of higher education for the State of Utah.  He also served Ogden as mayor for four years.  Dahrl graduated with honors in the first class of students to receive a bachelor’s degree at Weber State College and taught English and creative writing classes at Weber and Bonneville high schools. The couple has been married for 68 years, and all six of their children have earned doctoral degrees.

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Lisa Frasier, Alumni Association Board of Directors


Lynell Gardner, director, Alumni Relations
801-626-7535 ·