WSU Salutes

WSU Salutes 2015 honorees: left to right
Back row: Ariana Escalante BS ’09; Brad Wilson BS ’93; Rick Fairbanks; Ed Freestone BS ’67 and Carol Freestone BS ’65
Front row: Karla K. Bergeson; Karen Fairbanks; Parker Shaw; Amina Khan AS ’14; Robert C. Newman BS ’66
Photo by Robert Casey

{Distinguished Alumnus}
Brad Wilson BS ’93, a member of Utah’s House of Representatives, is the majority assistant whip and sits on nine legislative committees. He was a strong ally during Weber State’s recent efforts to secure state funding for high-priority campus improvement projects. Wilson is a member of the university’s National Advisory Council. He is the president and CEO of Destination Homes.

{Outstanding Young Alumna}
Ariana Escalante BS ’09 has appeared as a model, spokesperson, host and vocalist in national broadcasts, including the Emmys, and has performed at Bellagio Las Vegas and The Kennedy Center. She hosts RockStar Dreams, an online magazine that features major and emerging artists. While at Weber, Escalante was involved with the Center for Community Engaged Learning and still volunteers at nonprofit organizations.

{Distinguished Service}
Rick and Karen Fairbanks promote the development of Ogden City, Weber County and Weber State University. In 2009, the couple received the prestigious Wall of Fame Award from the Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce. Karen is a member of WSU’s Board of Trustees. Rick serves on the university’s National Advisory Council and investment committee, and is an advisor to the John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics. The couple has generously funded scholarships and has attained membership in WSU’s Lifetime President’s Society. 

{Emeriti Alumni Lifetime Achievement}
Ogden OB-GYN Robert C. Newman BS ’66 delivered an estimated 6,000 babies during his 34-year career and was named a Weber County Doctor of the Year. He was the first Weber State student accepted to medical school after the college achieved four-year status. Newman has volunteered as an adjunct lecturer at Weber State and led 10 humanitarian excursions to Mali, Africa, to provide free surgeries and other medical services. Newman and his wife, Eleanor, served an LDS church mission to South America, where he was the Brazil-area medical adviser. 

{Lewis W. Shurtliff Award For Contributions to Education}
Karla K. Bergeson, a 1983 graduate of BYU’s School of Law, but an “Ogden girl” at heart, arranged to honor her mother and aunt by creating a scholarship in their names at Weber State University. She recently turned that scholarship into an endowment within the Jerry & Vickie Moyes College of Education. Bergeson has served on WSU’s National Advisory Council since 2014. 

{Emeriti Alumni Homecoming Royalty}
Former student leaders Ed Freestone BS ’67 and Carol Freestone BS ’65 are tireless champions of their alma mater. Carol financed part of her college education by working in Weber State’s art department, dean of student’s office and student union, while Ed put his voice to work singing the lead in the college’s first grand opera production of Carmen. Both Freestones have served as president of the Emeriti Alumni Council. Carol spearheaded efforts to organize a 1960s alumni reunion, and she and Ed participate in Weber State Day at the Utah Legislature.  

{Student Homecoming Royalty}
Sophomore Parker Shaw works as a WSU development specialist and is leading the push to raise $25,000 in student donations for Tracy Hall Science Center. An Admissions Ambassador, he is also an interpreter for Spanish-speaking patients at the university’s dental hygiene clinic. Amina Khan AS ’14 is the social media marketing director for the WSU Student Association and has helped plan multiple events for the organization. As a participant in the Alternative Spring Break program, she traveled to Las Vegas to tackle community service projects there.