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Deputy Director of the Peace Corps and Founders Day Honoree to Stress the Importance of Service

February 22, 2007 — The rewards of serving others will be the focus of a talk by Josephine K. Olsen during this year’s University of Utah Alumni Association Founders Day celebration. Olsen, deputy director of the Peace Corps, is one of five Founders Day recipients being honored by the Alumni Association. Her address, Giving Your All & Getting Back More: The Transformative Power of Service, will be delivered on Monday, March 5, 3 to 4 p.m. at the Alumni House, Burbidge Board Room, 155 So. Central Campus Drive. The talk is free, but the public is asked to RSVP by calling 801-581-6995.

Olsen is one of four alumni and one non-alumna being honored by the Alumni Association who have distinguished themselves professionally, served the local and national communities, and supported the University in its mission. This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are Josephine K. Olsen BS’65; Leon Peterson BS’64 MBA’67; Akhlesh Lakhtakia MS’81 PhD’83; and Craig H. Neilsen MBA’64 JD’67 (1941-2006). The Honorary Alumna for 2007 is the Right Reverend Carolyn Tanner Irish, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah and chair of the board of the O.C. Tanner Company.

The Founders Day banquet will be held at the Little America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City to recognize and honor the recipients. Tickets to the event are $85, or $850 for a table of 10.

“The University of Utah Alumni Association congratulates our 2007 Founders Day recipients. We invite friends, family and the community at large to join us as we honor and celebrate their accomplishments the evening of March 6, 2007 with these awards, the highest honors given by the Alumni Association,” said John Ashton, executive director of the Alumni Association. For brief biographies of all Founders Day recipients and to make reservations for the banquet, please visit

The Alumni Association is also presenting a current University of Utah student with a one-year, full-tuition scholarship the evening of the Founders Day banquet. This year’s Founders Day Scholar is Linh Ai Ho. She was awarded the scholarship for her contributions to the University and the community and for her academic achievements.

Founders Day traditions date back as far as 1899, when the Utah State Legislature voted to move the University of Utah to its permanent campus. Founders Day is technically on February 28; however, this year’s celebration begins March 5 and wraps up March 8 with a Utah Philharmonia concert.

The following is a list of presentations given by, or in honor of, this year’s recipients:

Founders Day 2007 Campus Event Series

  • Monday, March 5
    Akhlesh Lakhtakia MS’81 PhD’83
    “A Forest of Nanowires”-Graduate Seminar Series
    3 p.m., Engineering & Mines Classroom Building (EMCB) 102
    72 So. Central Campus Drive
    Information: 801-581-6911
    Sponsored by the College of Engineering

    Josephine K. Olsen BS’65
    “Giving Your All & Getting Back More: The Transformative Power of Service”
    3-4 p.m., Alumni House, Burbidge Board Room
    155 So. Central Campus Drive
    Information: 801-581-3709
    Sponsored by the Student Alumni Board and the Department of Sociology

  • Tuesday, March 6
    Craig H. Neilsen MBA’64 JD’67 (1941-2006)
    “The Legacy of the Golden Thread: Our Tribute to Craig H. Neilsen”
    (Please note: This event is by invitation only.)
    9:30-11 a.m., Eccles Health Sciences Education Building (HSEB)
    Information: 801-585-1858
    Co-sponsored by The Rehabilitation Center at University Health Care And The Brain Institute at the University of Utah

  • Thursday, March 8
    Leon Peterson BS’64 MBA’67
    Utah Philharmonia Concert
    7:30 p.m., Libby Gardner Concert Hall
    1375 E. Presidents Circle
    Tickets: $7 adults, $3 students
    Call 801-581-7100 or visit
    Sponsored by the School of Music

These events are being held in conjunction with the 2007 Founders Day celebration, organized by the University of Utah Alumni Association. For more information, please visit: