The University of Utah Alumni Association each year commemorates the establishment of the University with a Founders Day celebration. This year’s gala is set for next Wednesday, Feb. 22, at The Little America Hotel to honor our award recipients!
The Alumni Association honors four alumni and one honorary alumnus who have distinguished themselves professionally and personally. These individuals have served our local and national communities and supported the University in its mission to preserve lifelong relationships with its alumni, students and the community.
This year, the four recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus/a Award are:
- Klea Blackhurst, who currently plays Shelby Cross on The Onion News Network, has appeared in numerous off-Broadway productions and created the well-received homage to Ethel Merman Everything the Traffic Will Allow. She has sung in concert appearances in London and all over the U.S., teaches master voice classes, and also does TV and radio.
- H. Roger Boyer, chair and founder of The Boyer Company, which has developed significant commercial properties throughout the Intermountain West. He is a former chair of the Utah Division of Business and Economic Development Board and has served as a member of the University of Utah’s Board of Trustees.
- J. Michael Mattsson, who served the U in leadership roles for more than 40 years, including as director of development and communications for the University of Utah Medical Center and later as the University's vice president of development from 1985 to 2006, helping the U raise $1.7 billion.
- Arthur L. Ruoff, who has had an influential and award-winning career in the field of high-pressure chemistry and materials science. A professor at Cornell University since 1955, he wrote two influential books on materials science and developed a tutorial course that has been used in about 60 universities.
The recipient of the Honorary Alumni Award is Gary Crocker. A highly successful biomedical innovator and investor, he is currently president of Crocker Ventures and chair of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. A former member of the U’s Board of Trustees and its Research Foundation Board, he has been a significant donor to the U.
Please join us in recognizing these outstanding alumni and our honorary alum for their exceptional accomplishments, their support of the University, and their service to the community.
If you are interested in learning more or becoming a sponsor for next year’s Founders Day gala, call (888)856-8166, visit our website or contact advertising executive Bill Lines at 801-581-3719.