WSU Salutes to Honor Outstanding Alumni

OGDEN, Utah – During the 41st Annual WSU Salutes program, Weber State University will honor outstanding alumni and friends for their contributions to campus and the community. The awards ceremony, hosted by the WSU Alumni Association, will be Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Hurst Center for Lifelong Learning on the Ogden campus.

This year’s award recipients include Distinguished Alumni Javier Chavez and Sheryl Laukat; Emeriti Alumni Homecoming Royalty Stanley and Donna Miller Roberts; Mario Pellegrini, recipient of the Emeriti Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award; Utah Sens. Jerry Stevenson and Stuart Adams, recipients of Distinguished Service Awards; Helen Farr, recipient of the Lewis W. Shurtliff Award for Contributions to Education; and Scott Marquardt, who will be honored with the WSU President’s Award.

“We are very proud of these individuals and appreciate everything they do for our university and the community,” said Lynell Gardner, executive director of the WSU Alumni Association. “The WSU Salutes program is a wonderful way to celebrate their accomplishments. We invite everyone to join us as we honor them.”

The awards program, which will feature biographical videos, is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact the WSU Alumni Association at 801-626-7535.

Bios of 2010 WSU Salutes Recipients:

Distinguished Alumnus
Javier Chavez
An international track star and revered Weber State athlete, Chavez already had a record replete with honors and awards when he gained instant success in 1991 with the opening of the first Javier’s Mexican restaurant on 29th Street in Ogden. Chavez, a 1984 graduate of Weber State, is known for his willingness to help others and is involved in the community in myriad ways.

Distinguished Alumna
Sheryl Laukat
In 1996, Laukat, a 1982 graduate of Weber State, started Cannonball Musical Instruments with her husband, Tevis. The company, which manufactures hand-made and acoustically hand-customized saxophones, originally operated out of the Laukat’s basement. Today, Cannonball is housed in a 12,000-square foot facility in Sandy, and the instruments are sold through 205 distributors worldwide.

Emeriti Alumni Homecoming Royalty
Stanley and Donna Miller Roberts
Stanley graduated in 1950 from Weber College. Donna received her associate’s degree in 1957 and bachelor’s degree in 1967. Both enjoyed successful careers – Stanley as a supervisory systems analyst with the Defense Logistics Agency and Donna as an associate professor in Weber State’s Department of Telecommunications and Business Education. Today, the Roberts remain involved at WSU. They are members of the WSU Alumni Association, both have served as volunteer leaders of the Emeriti Alumni Council, and they have been basketball season ticket holders for 30 years.

Emeriti Alumni Lifetime Achievement
Mario Pellegrini
As president of Vita Productions, Mario Pellegrini has written, produced and directed many award-winning motion pictures, television programs and commercials, including the NFL’s Great Moments series. His interest in film began with an assignment from Weber State professor Jennings Olsen. The 1959 Weber College graduate has since worked with stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney and Sylvester Stallone.

Distinguished Service
Utah Sens. Jerry Stevenson and Stuart Adams
Utah Sen. Jerry Stevenson, past chair of WSU’s Board of Trustees, and Sen. Stuart Adams show great dedication to higher education in the halls of the Utah State Capitol. The two senators work steadfastly to provide support for WSU as the university strives to meet the needs of the students and employers of the region.

Lewis W. Shurtliff Award for Contributions to Education
Helen Farr
After serving as head nurse in the pediatric unit of Dee Hospital and teaching at Ogden’s St. Benedict’s Hospital, Helen Farr joined the faculty of Weber College in 1959, making her the first instructor in the nursing program and the fourth woman on campus to be named a professor. A 1943 graduate of Weber College, she taught 27 years at her alma mater, where she was also the coordinator of nursing.

WSU President’s Award
Scott Marquardt
Marquardt is president and CEO of Management & Training Corporation. He was a member of the WSU Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2003 and chaired the board starting in 1999. He serves on WSU’s National Advisory Council and the State Board of Regents. His leadership brought together business leaders to form the Friends of Utah Higher Education, which advocates for increased support for higher education at the state capitol.

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Lynell Gardner, executive director, Alumni Relations
801-626-7535 •
  Amy Hendricks, office of Media Relations
  801-626-6346 •