WSU Honors Outstanding Contributors During Homecoming
For contributions to the campus and community, 10 outstanding individuals and one charitable foundation will be honored at Weber State University’s 51st Annual WSU Salutes ceremony on Oct. 11. The public is invited to attend the free Homecoming event hosted by WSU’s Alumni Association. The program begins at 7 p.m. in the Browning Center Austad Auditorium and will include a short biographical video of each award recipient. WSU Alumna and founder of Ogden’s Good Company Theatre, Alicia Washington BA ’05 will be this year’s master of ceremonies. “The WSU Salutes program is a wonderful way to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of these distinguished members of our Weber State family,” said Nancy Collinwood, Alumni Relations executive director. “We invite everyone to join us for this entertaining and enlightening event."
Profiles of 2019 WSU Salutes Honorees:
Lori Belnap Pehrson BS ’87 is an aerospace industry executive and a passionate community volunteer. As a director at Northrop Grumman, a leading global security company, Lori oversees a large engineering and systems integration organization, and manages a portfolio of programs that support national security objectives. Lori has always felt compelled to help others personally and professionally. She is an ardent STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) advocate who frequently speaks at conferences and schools. She has taught English and computer skills to local refugee groups and has mentored veterans who are reentering the workplace. Lori chairs her division’s diversity and inclusion board, and currently serves on Weber State’s Engineering Advisory Board. She is a member of the Safe Harbor Crisis Center’s board of directors, and was recently appointed to the Governor’s Economic Council.
Keith Titus BS ’02 is this year’s Distinguished Alumnus. As a youngster growing up in Smithfield, Utah, Keith’s passion for learning was kindled by his Grandpa Peterson, who frequently extolled the virtues of education. To this day, Keith challenges himself and those around him to acquire new knowledge and consider different perspectives. Keith graduated from Weber State with a degree in professional sales; he later earned an MBA at the University of Utah. His academic background and dynamic work ethic serve the seasoned executive well in his current role as president and CEO of MarketStar, a global outsourcing company that designs and develops sales and marketing solutions for hundreds of companies, many of which are listed in the Fortune 100. Keith joined MarketStar after spending 11 years at Motorola Solutions in a number of leadership capacities, including head of strategy for global sales and field operations. He champions community initiatives through MarketStar Cares, his company’s community outreach program. He also actively serves on a number of local boards, and is an avid dirt biker, fly-fisher, amateur chef and golfer.
Outstanding Young Alumnus
Just as four-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard BS ’15 has carved out an identity as one of the most prolific scorers in the 49-year history of the Portland Trail Blazers, so, too, has the plucky point guard carved out a permanent place in the hearts of Wildcat basketball fans. Damian, who was unanimously voted 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year, is a Weber State legend not only for his remarkable athletic ability, but also for his loyalty and dedication to pursuing a college degree. When the NBA drafted him sixth overall in 2012, Damian was six credits shy of graduation, so he returned to WSU in the offseasons to complete his coursework. He graduated in May 2015, fulfilling the promise he had made to his mother years earlier. When Weber State retired Damian’s famous No. 1 jersey in 2017, he used the occasion to publically thank Dee Events Center staffers for unlocking the facility after hours so he could squeeze in extra practices. When he’s not on the court dazzling fans with mind-boggling three-pointers or touting his alma mater on social media, Damian may very well be in a recording studio. He recently released his third, full-length album under his nom de rap, “Dame D.O.L.L.A.”
For opening a trendy restaurant in a 119-year-old building that once housed a Chinese laundry and a notorious brothel, Kym Evertsen Buttschardt and her husband became known as the couple that “lit the flame that brought Ogden back to life.” Kym grew up in the restaurant business, but vowed to follow a different career path. She earned an accounting degree at the University of Utah and moved to Washington, D.C., to begin her “dream job” as an auditor with Price Waterhouse. Destiny had other plans. Kym returned to Utah after her then-boyfriend and now-husband, Pete Buttschardt, opened Union Grill restaurant. Five years later, the couple opened Rooster’s Brewing Co. The eatery’s instant popularity gave other merchants and restaurateurs the confidence to set up shop on 25th Street, which sparked the revitalization of a historically significant business district. The Buttschardts are deeply involved in the ongoing effort to revive the Ogden Union Stockyard area. They support numerous local events, like the annual Harvest Moon celebration.
WSU President’s Award
This year’s President’s Award recipient is the Stewart Education Foundation. The foundation board members are: Jack D. Lampros, emeriti chair, Richard Stromberg BS ’72, chair, Dean W. Hurst CC ’48, emeriti vice chair, Jamie Lampros-Shenefelt BS ’86, co-vice chair, Jacklyn Lampros-Hunt BS ’81, associate, Sean Stromberg BS ’93, associate, Karin Hurst AA ’79, associate, and Kristen Hurst-Hyde BA ’74, co-vice chair.
Elizabeth Dee Shaw Stewart was the granddaughter of Ogden pioneer industrialist and community leader Thomas D. Dee and his wife, Annie. Honoring the Dee family’s tradition of charitable giving, Elizabeth and her husband, Donnell B. Stewart, established the Stewart Education Foundation (SEF) in 1977 to support educational, cultural and life-enhancing programs, particularly in Weber County. Since its inception, SEF has administered millions of dollars in gifts and grants to numerous programs and organizations, with an emphasis on Weber State University, where Elizabeth and Donnell were classmates in the 1920s. The foundation has financed or endowed Weber State campus landmarks, buildings, scholarships, professional development programs, library acquisitions, visiting artist and lecture series, master classes and other vital projects. In addition to its support of WSU, the foundation provides crucial funding to the Ogden, Weber and Davis school district foundations, Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College, Elizabeth Stewart Treehouse Museum and Eccles Dinosaur Park. The foundation was a major contributor to the Ogden High School restoration project.
Emeriti Alumni Lifetime Achievement
In 1975, John B. Lund BS ’78 accepted a job at America First Credit Union — and never left. The former clerk is now the Riverdale, Utah-based organization’s president and CEO. America First is among the nation’s top 10 credit unions, with $11.2 billion in assets and more than 1 million members. Described by professional colleagues as “a person of high integrity” and “an excellent motivator of people,” John has received numerous honors and accolades including Utah Business magazine’s 2018 CEO of the Year: Lifetime Achievement award. Under John’s leadership, America First has been lauded by Forbes, Consumer Reports, and Money magazine. John is fiercely committed to serving the credit union industry and his community. He sits on numerous boards, including the 100% For Kids Education Foundation, Utah Credit Union Association, and CU Direct Corp. He’s also a loyal Wildcat, a member of the Goddard School of Business & Economics Advisory Council, and a Ralph Nye Lecture Series guest speaker. John generously provides personal and corporate financial support for WSU event sponsorships, scholarships and Walker Institute internships.
Lewis W. Shurtliff Award for Contributions to Education
Lifelong Huntsville, Utah, resident Marlin K. Jensen is a lawyer by trade, but a farmer at heart. Early in life, Marlin, a studious, first-generation college graduate, recognized the value of higher education. He earned a bachelor’s degree in German from Brigham Young University and later attended the University of Utah College of Law, graduating first in his class. While practicing law, Marlin still helped operate his family farm. He served as a General Authority Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 24 years, and was the church’s official historian and recorder from 2005 to 2012. Marlin’s outstanding contributions to education include service on the Weber County Library Board of Trustees, the Weber School District Board, the Utah State Board of Education, and the Utah State Board of Regents. He is especially interested in ensuring that underserved college-age students can afford to attend college and pursue any desired career. For the past three years, Marlin has chaired Weber County’s Intergenerational Poverty Advisory Committee, a volunteer organization dedicated to helping young people break the cycle of poverty through education and opportunity.
Emeriti Homecoming Royalty
Nancy Boyington Wade AA ’69 and Glen L. Wade BS ’72 are this year’s Emeriti Homecoming Royalty. As Weber State students, Glen and Nancy discovered a common interest in chemistry — and each other. Nancy joined Ta Theta Nu social club and was active in student government. After graduating with a degree in microbiology, she completed a medical technology internship at McKay-Dee Hospital and was named Utah State Medical Technology Student of the Year. Glen joined Delta Phi fraternity and the U.S. Army Reserve. After earning a degree in chemistry and math, he attended Georgetown University School of Dentistry. Following Glen’s dental residency at UCLA and the Veterans Hospital, the couple returned to Utah, and Glen established a practice in Roy. Throughout his 40-year dental career, Glen also ran a 300-acre farm and a 130-head cattle ranch. Proud Wildcats, the couple named a room at Tracy Hall Science Center in honor of former professors E. Park Guymon and Diane Pugmire. Glen is a valued member of the university’s National Advisory Council.
Student Homecoming Royalty
Rachel Creer AS ’19 and Matthew Thorpe exemplify the Weber State ideals of scholarship, leadership and service. Rachel, who earned an associate’s degree, summa cum laude, is an honors student studying public relations, advertising, business administration and Spanish. She has held multiple leadership roles at WSU, including Honors Aletheia Student Advisory Board vice president, Suicide Awareness Walk community outreach coordinator and First Year Experience peer mentor. Rachel speaks fluent Spanish and volunteers at a Title 1 school in Weber County.
Matt has a 4.0 GPA and is working toward degrees in professional sales, and outdoor and community recreation education. He is a member of the Honors Aletheia club and serves as Student Alumni Association vice president of traditions. For two years, the self-described Wildcat Athletics “fanatic” helped organize the “Destruction Zone” student spectator section. The former student ambassador helps run his family’s nonprofit organization, which serves cancer patients and their families.
Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.