WSU Magazine Fall 2012 : Page 22

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA I. Marlene Summers ’74, ’80, ’88, ’91, ’07 holds five degrees from Weber State, including a bachelor’s in police and military science and a master’s in nursing. Summers helped WSU’s chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing gain national status. Her professional and volunteer efforts have won many accolades, including the Clara Barton Award from the American Red Cross. Summers was a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. At 56, she volunteered for active duty in Kuwait. EMERITI ALUMNI LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT A “Renaissance man” in every sense, Alvin Cobabe ’57 began his pursuit of a medical degree by enrolling at Weber College when he was 38, having already been a sheep rancher, contractor, and licensed radio and television engineer. A ski enthusiast, Cobabe installed a rope tow on his family’s ranch at the bottom of Wolf Creek Canyon in the 1960s, thus launching Powder Mountain ski resort. He donated more than three acres of his property to WSU for use as an observatory site and science park. EMERITI ALUMNI HOMECOMING ROYALTY Between them , Craige and Deanna Hall were members of Weber State’s faculty and professional staff for a total of 71 years, working in a variety of academic and administrative capacities. The couple watched the school evolve from a small junior college to a nationally recognized university. Before retiring to St. George, Utah, the Halls regularly attended athletic events and mentored student-athletes. They organized numerous Wildcat Club fundraisers and supported the Stewart Library. PRESIDENT’S AWARD Nolan Karras ’70 served five terms in the Utah House of Representatives, including stints as speaker and majority leader. He was appointed to the Utah State Board of Regents in 2001 and elected chair in 2002. Karras co-chairs the steering committee for Education First, a group dedicated to improved accountability, innovation and increased funding for education. Karras has also chaired the advisory board of the Richard Richards Institute for Politics, Decency & Ethical Conduct at WSU. Hailed as a “bright mind in Utah politics,” Spencer Stokes ’95 worked as a campaign consultant and legislative lobbyist prior to becoming U.S. Sen. Mike Lee’s chief of staff in 2011. The former executive director of the Utah Republican Party serves on WSU’s National Advisory Council and provides community feedback and guidance on strategic issues. Stokes, a former Weber County commissioner, has guided critical WSU projects and funding measures through the legislative process. VIDEO WSU SALUTES WSU SALUTES WSU SALUTES DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS WSU SALUTES After law school, Kem Gardner ’61 co-founded The Boyer Company, one of the largest real estate development firms in the Western United States. A philanthropist, Gardner led fundraising efforts for the 2002 Winter Olympics. He established an undergraduate research scholarship fund at WSU and a scholarship for low-income students. Gardner also supports the College of Applied Science & Technology. A past chair of the Utah State Board of Regents, he serves on WSU’s National Advisory Council. OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNUS Curtis Funk ’11 started what would become a profitable business while still a technical sales student at WSU. helps mortuaries record and broadcast tribute videos on the Internet. In 2010, the website was named’s #1 Tech Trend and was among Inc. magazine’s Cool College Startups. Funk also developed a software application for the funeral industry. In 2011, he co-founded Bragfire, a social video tool for creating and sharing vacation videos. LEWIS W. SHURTLIFF AWARD FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO EDUCATION Utah Rep. Gage Froerer and Sen. Scott Jenkins ’75 are stalwart supporters of education and WSU at the state Legislature. Both have backed numerous measures that have enabled the university to meet its expansion needs and prepare students to compete in a global economy. Recently, Froerer and Jenkins worked with fellow legislators to approve funding for a second building at WSU Davis. They have championed other key construction projects, including Elizabeth Hall, and have supported enhancements to the university’s engineering program as well as the Utah Science, Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative. WSU SALUTES WSU SALUTES wsu magazine | FALL 2012 Click here to view biographical videos. 22

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