News

Gilbert, Lunt and Waite to Receive Distinguished Service Awards

March 16, 2004
Category: Special Events


The annual celebration of the beginnings of Southern Utah University will take place Friday, March 26—SUU Founders’ Day 2004.

Founders’ Day is a time to remember the people who have given of themselves for the advancement of SUU, from those first days more than a hundred years ago, to today. Every Founders’ Day, SUU President Steven Bennion bestows Distinguished Service awards upon individuals who have made significant contributions to the University. Such gifts are not just limited to financial support, but just as important, to the sharing of knowledge, volunteerism, sponsorships, donations of tangible pieces, and the like. Four individuals will be honored this year with Founders’ Day Distinguished Service awards.

Cyndi Gilbert, Larry Lunt, and Gale & Alice Waite, all have given significantly, their time, support and heart to the students of SUU and the overall welfare of the Institution.

(Media: Biographies on each of the Distinguished Service award recipients follows at the end of this release.)

The Founders’ Day Tropical Fantasy begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the Convention Center Lobby of the Sharwan Smith Center on the SUU campus. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. in the Smith Center’s Ballroom. A delightful program will begin at 7 p.m. featuring the talents of SUU students, and the recognition of Gilbert, Lunt, the Waites, as well as the Hall of Honor inductees. At 8 p.m., accomplished pianist, Rob Gonzales, will perform.

A dance with the Win Seegmiller Band, and then a DJ, starts at 9 p.m. Tickets to Dinner, Entertainment and Dance are $25 per couple at the door. To attend the Entertainment and Dance only, is just $5 per person at the door. Please RSVP for Dinner by March 22 at 435.586.7775 or 586.7702.

THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS OF SUU’S FOUNDERS’ DAY 2004 CELEBRATION

CYNDI GILBERT—Born and raised in Cedar City, to Rulan and Lois Woodbury, Gilbert attended Cedar High, and SUU, at which she obtained her bachelor’s in business administration, served as the student body secretary and was the first female student regent on the Utah State Board of Regents. She earned her J.D. in law from BYU and managed a private law practice for six years in Salt Lake City. In 1988, she married Steve Gilbert and became corporate counsel to Gilbert Development Corporation and Crusher Rental & Sales, Inc. The Gilberts live on the Diamond G Ranch in Toquerville, Utah, with more than 300 head of champion, record-breaking rodeo livestock. Diamond G Rodeos, Inc. provides livestock for rodeos throughout the western United States. Gilbert was the first woman stock contractor of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and remains the only female actively flanking in the PRCA. She has served on numerous boards, including the Utah State Building Board and SUU’s Board of Trustees for 10 years. She was president of the SUU Alumni Council 1993-95, named SUU’s Professional Business Leaders’ Person of the Year in 1995, and currently teaches paralegal courses at SUU. She was also named the Woman of the Year by the Professional Business Women organization.

LARRY LUNT—A retired Brigadier General of the U.S. Air Force, Larry Lunt currently works as the manager and broker of Key Property Management, headquartered in Salt Lake City, and responsible for residential properties in six states. He just recently retired from eight years of service to SUU as the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Lunt has held a distinguished career in military service, property management, investment advisement, technology and law. He started as a special assistant attorney general for the Utah Attorney General’s office in 1972. He later founded a private legal practice specializing in real estate law and development. He served a year on the Judiciary and Capital Facilities Joint Appropriations Committees in the Utah House of Representatives. Currently he is involved as the vice-chair of the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, the chair of the Third District Judicial Nominating Committee, and board member of the Clark Planetarium.

GALE & ALICE WAITE—are two eager residents of Cedar City and particularly good friends of SUU. Gale, retired from 30 years in the Space Program, and Alice, a Hollywood, California girl, mother of four and grandmother to 11, have been active in the community since they moved to Cedar City in 1986. Alice is in her 16th year of volunteering at the Chamber of Commerce. She has been reading to first-graders at Fiddlers Elementary School for 17 years. She’s served on the Board of Care and Share, on the Cedar Area Transportation Service (CATS) Committee, on the Community Outreach Advisory Panel of the Utah Arts Council, the MS Christmas Home Show Committee and was president of Cedar City Music Arts Board. She also served as the President of the Guild of the Utah Shakespearean Festival for three years. Gale and Alice have been active members of the Guild since 1992. Drafted in 1952, Gale spent two years in the U.S. Army, 16 months of that time in Korea. After returning from the war, Gale enrolled in college to study Electrical Engineering. Since retiring to Cedar City and building a home with Alice, Gale has served on several SUU curriculum advisory boards, most recently for the new Integrated Engineering program. He taught in the School of Business from 1992-1997. In 1996 he joined the fundraising effort for the redesign and expansion of the football stadium; Gale headed a committee to garner funds from the sale of reserved seats--$100,000 was raised. He is currently a board member and past president of the Southern Utah Foundation; President of the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center Board; Chairman of the Cedar City Airport Advisory Board; and President of the Cedar City Kiwanis Service Club. In this latter position, Gale coordinated the use of the Centrum Arena on campus for a Kiwanis/SUU Scholarship Fundraiser. In January 2004, a basketball entertainment function was held resulting in a $4000 contribution for partial scholarships to students entering SUU from local high schools. Gale and Alice have provided monetary support to the University since 1994, including contributions to the USF, the Utah Summer Games, T-Bird Athletics and the Development Office. In 2000, they established the “Gale and Alice Waite Scholarship” for the College of Performing and Visual Arts.

Contact Information:
Renee Ballenger
435-586-1997
ballenger@suu.edu