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SUU In View - Fall 2002 - Homecoming | Alumni | SUU
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SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Fall 2002)

SUU Homecoming 2002

What are your memories and good times associated with college? Do the happy winds of Cedar still blow through your mind? Do you reminisce often of the great times you had, and the wonderful people you knew at SUU? Well, stand up alums of SUU and come on down and join us in celebrating


Sterling ChurchThe SUU Student Association is pleased to honor Vice President Sterling R. Church at this year's Homecoming. Church, a 31-year veteran of mentoring and empowering SUU students, announced earlier this year that he will retire at the end of 2002. SUUSA is proud to have Church serve as Grand Marshall of the Homecoming Parade Saturday morning.

Everyone is invited to join in paying tribute to this beloved man of SUU at a luncheon to be given in his honor Saturday at 12:30 PM in the Sharwan Smith Center, hosted by student leaders of SUU. All of his former and present students are invited to attend. The cost is $8/person. Tickets are available through the Centrum Ticket Office, and must be purchased by Tuesday, October 8. For those of you who regard Vice President Church, but are unable to attend the reunion luncheon, log onto the SUU website at and look for Homecoming on the Campus Events scroller on the homepage for a link to a site where you may post a message for Vice President Church.


That afternoon, take advantage of some free time and enjoy college life again. Take a campus tour or catch up and visit with some of your ol' favorite professors. If you haven't seen the new Sorenson Physical Education Building yet, be sure to tour this beautiful, state-of-the-art facility. Or visit your Alumni House, which is rooming these days with the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery temporarily while the Braithwaite Center Building undergoes renovation. Also, the Utah Shakespearean Festival performs "Twelfth Night" at 2 p.m. in the Randall Jones Theatre. See for a complete schedule and description of each play. USF tickets can be purchased through the Shakespeare Ticket Office at 1-800-PLAYTIX.


Student Activities will continue its history of high quality, exciting entertainment with another great concert. Details on who will be rockin' and rollin' the Centrum this Homecoming are TBA. Keep tuned to our website at for developments on concert program, time and ticket sales. After the concert, hit the dance floor with your fellow alums and current students at the Homecoming Dance. Be prepared to dance and romance the night away to the big band sounds of the Joe Muscalino Band, an SUU favorite. Dress for the dance is semi-formal. Tickets can be obtained at (435) 586-7782.


Midnight around campus often equals mischief and Friday night of Homecoming will be no exception. One of the latest alumni traditions is to "Become A True T-Bird." This tradition involves kissing your sweetheart while touching the Old Sorrel statue at midnight. We'll be continuing this tradition under the midnight moonlight after the Homecoming Dance. All participants will be given a special edition "T-Bird" card, stating to all that you are a "True T-Bird!"


Saturday will kick off with the traditional Homecoming Parade at 10 a.m. The entourage will progress down Main Street, starting at 400 South and ending at 200 North. At the conclusion of the parade, mosey on over to the Main Street Park on the corner of 200 North & Main for an enjoyable "Mix & Mingle" get together with old, and new, friends. The afternoon is free for you to explore your old Cedar haunts, visit with friends, tour the national parks, or catch one of the Utah Shakespearean Festival's fall season plays. Saturday afternoon, "I Hate Hamlet" shows at 2 p.m. See for a complete schedule and description of each play. USF tickets can be purchased through the Shakespeare Ticket Office at 1-800-PLAYTIX.


The Las Vegas Alumni Chapter will host a super Tailgate Party at 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening on the West Stadium practice lawns. All alumni are invited to attend and enjoy great food and fun with friends. Kick-off for this year's Homecoming Game against Cal-Poly is 7 p.m.! Get your ticket for the game now from the Centrum Ticket Office (435) 586-7782.

For more info, call Homecoming Headquarters at 435-586-7762.
For Homecoming Football Game Tickets, call 435-586-7782.

Distinguished Alumni to be Honored

Every year at Homecoming, the Alumni Association sponsors the Alumni Banquet, at which SUUhonors individuals who have positively impacted the well-being of the University community.

Darin Bird ('89 Communication) will receive the Young Alumni Award. Ed and Carolyn Rondthaler will be given the University's Distinguished Service Award. The Outstanding Alumni Award will be presented to Charles Norton ('71 Business). And, Claudia Flandro Ward Howells ('72 Music) will receive the Alumni Distinguished Service Award. This year's banquet is on Friday evening, October 11, in the Sharwan Smith Center Ballroom beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the Banquet following at 6 p.m.


Darin BirdDarin Bird, who graduated in 1989 in communication with a public relations/advertising emphasis and a double-minor in business administration and political science, will be honored this year with the Young Alumni Award. Originally from Utah, Darin is now a resident of Arlington, VA, near where he pursues his career as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Committee on Resources in the U.S. House of Representatives. He worked directly with the Chairman of the House Resource Committee to complete the legislative agenda during the 107th Congress. This Committee has oversight on all public lands, forests, parks, Native American and U.S. Territories, wildlife, fisheries and marine issues. This is the debut year for the Young Alumni Award. Marlo Jensen, SUU's director of alumni relations, says, "We are excited to institute this new award. Our goal is to be inclusive of everyone and this award gives us the very worthy opportunity to feature our young alumni who have made significant contributions to our communities and our University."

Like his present and future, Darin's background is definitely strong in political public relations. He worked in the Special Projects department of the Utah State Olympic Office, coordinating such programs as the torch lightings at the Utah State Capitol for the Olympics and Paralympics events.

As a student at SUU, Darin enjoyed a full academic leadership scholarship, and served as student body president. He was the recipient of the Thunderbird Awards Male Contributor of the Year honor in 1988, as well as the Thunderbird Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Service in 1989. Although he's in D.C. in a federal capacity, Darin's ties and contributions to his alma mater and homestate remain concrete. Among many service positions in the state, he sits on the Board of Advisors for SUU's Center for Politics and Public Service, and up until last year, was an Admissions Advisor for the University. Making sure that they don't forget about us in D.C., Darin helped arrange for the Utah Centennial Tree's presence at the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program a few years ago. In his leisure time, he spends time promoting his belief that "real men cook." He's sat on the committee for the Great Salt Lake Chili Affair and has been a participating chef in the Real Men Can Cook Ogden YCC annual fundraiser.


Ed and Carolyn RondthalerA decade or more ago, Ed and Carolyn Rondthaler came to Cedar City to attend the Utah Shakespearean Festival and to stroll the SUU campus. In short order, they became smitten with the area. When Ed retired from his career as an investment consultant in Nevada in 1997, the couple moved to Cedar City and immersed themselves into the lifeblood of Cedar City and embraced the University. The two are veteran devotees to numerous worthy causes, and have continued such behavior in the Cedar City community. Ed, who earned a master's degree in economics from Arizona State University, serves as a member of the Cedar City Music Arts Board and the SUU Board of Fellows. Carolyn, a 1996 graduate of the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a bachelor's degree in psychology, gave nearly 20 years of volunteerism to the Boy Scouts of America. She is the current president of the Guild of the Utah Shakespearean Festival and has been a USF volunteer for eight years. She is also active in the Cedar Chest Quilter's Guild. The Rondthalers established a chair in the College of Performing and Visual Arts, and have given generous donations to the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery, the American Folk Ballet and USF, in addition to their annual provision of multiple student scholarships. "We welcome the opportunity to support this University and community which contributes so much to our quality of life," Ed and Carolyn have stated. In recognition of the Rondthaler's friendship and generosity, the University recently named a room in the Hunter Conference Center in the Rondthaler's honor, and now wishes to express its affinity and appreciation to them with a Distinguished Service Award to be given to the couple at the 2002 Alumni Homecoming Banquet.


Claudia Flandro Ward HowellsClaudia Flandro Ward Howells has spent her life playing the piano, teaching music and enrichment programs to the youth, and supporting the arts. After graduating from East High School in Salt Lake City, she attended SUSC and obtained her degree in music with certification in secondary education. She was given the SUU Outstanding Musician Award in 1972. She went on to obtain her master's in education with an emphasis in music as well as her elementary certification from Utah State University. Claudia was a piano teacher for 31 years. While she was attending school in Cedar City, she conducted piano lesson at Williams Music Studio in town, and after graduation, she taught piano on campus. Claudia's career and service saw her as the assistant director of the Utah Opera Company, and later the assistant director of the Utah Arts Council. Claudia has proven to be a great supporter of alumni programs. She has been serving as a member of SUU National Alumni Board since 1994, and a valuable contributor to the design of the current Alumni House renovation project.


Charles NortonCharles Norton has remained a force in the success of this Institution since he was a student at SUSC. A physical education (economics minor) graduate from 1971, Charlie has certainly taken what he has learned and excelled. He is the owner of a large construction company in Las Vegas, executing jobs like the world-famous resorts, the Bellagio, Mirage and New York, New York casinos. Charlie has a few more passions that he has taken to superior level of achievement. While a teacher and coach at Granger High School in Salt Lake City, he led his baseball team to a 4A state championship. And, he is a championship golfer. But another passion of his, for which we are particularly grateful, is his love for SUU. Over the years, Charlie has given numerous donations, including multiple scholarships, to the University, all of which have affected a better education for our students. He also serves on SUU's Board of Fellows. For his invaluable contribution and support, to his community, the state of Utah and to his alma mater, SUU is pleased to award him with the 2002 Outstanding Alumni Award.

The cost to attend the Banquet is $15/person. Reservations must be received by Wednesday, October 9 and can be made by calling Alumni Relations at 1-888-586-1997 or (435) 586-7777.


Edward SouthwickThe long-cherished tradition continues when the Fifty-Year Club meets this Homecoming, October 13, to welcome the Class of 1952 into this most elite club of alumni of Branch Normal College and Branch Agricultural College.

Activities are slated to begin with a Social Hour at 10 a.m. in the Ballroom of the Sharwan Smith Center. A luncheon and short program will follow at 11 a.m..

This year the Fifty Year Club is pleased to have Edward H. Southwick, a 1950 graduate of the SUU Institution, as the keynote speaker for this event. Additionally, Anne Judd of the Class of '52 will be recognized for outstanding support of the Institution and community.

Southwick, who currently resides in St. George, UT, has served his country in the military, and his church on a mission, and held a career in public service for nearly 50 years. The cost of the luncheon is $10 per person. Please make your reservations with the Alumni Office by calling toll free 1-888-586-1997 or (435) 586-7777. Reservations must be received by October 8, 2002.

Optimism Tops the Playbook this Season

A new season featuring six home games offers optimism for the Thunderbird coaches and fans. Coach C. Ray Gregory signed 23 players to National Letters of Intent during the off season, 18 of them from various Utah high schools, and a good showing from Las Vegas. Coach Gregory says, "I'm excited about the future these student-athletes will bring."

The signees include six offensive linemen, five running backs, three defensive backs, three wide receivers, two quarterbacks, two defensive linemen and two linebackers.

The coaching staff includes the addition of Steve Fex as defensive coordinator, who replaced Chris Howard on the team. Fex spent the last two seasons as a graduate assistant working with the University of Washington Huskies. He has also been an assistant coach at Western Oregon and a high school coach in both Oregon and Texas. Fex will be joined by newcomer Jason Linders, who was previously with athletics at the University of Nevada, Reno. Linders will be in charge of the defensive line.

With a handful of quarterbacks to call on, Coach Gregory's toughest decision might be in choosing which player to lead the team. Gregory's philosophy is that physical skills could help one player emerge as a leader. "We want to install more play-action passing. We've had guys running wide open and we need to hit them to help the entire offense."

On the defensive side, the 'Birds will change from the flex defense and revert back to the traditional 4-3 package. Gregory notes, "We have some real strengths on the defensive side of the ball, and we have some real talent in our linebackers, so we have the personnel for the switch."

He concludes, "We (also) have a strong core of returning players. I think with this bunch, we will get it done."

Friday, October 11

Saturday, October 12

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