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U Celebrates Distinguished and Honorary Alumni at Founders Day Banquet

2014 Distinguished and Honorary Alumnus/a Award recipients.

Feb. 13, 2014 – To commemorate the founding of the University of Utah on Feb. 28, 1850, the University of Utah Alumni Association will celebrate the accomplishments of five outstanding alumni and one honorary alumnus at the annual Founders Day banquet, Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Little America Hotel, beginning with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.

Each year, the Alumni Association presents its highest honor, the Distinguished and Honorary Alumnus/a Award, in recognition of outstanding professional achievements or public service. This year’s Distinguished Alumnus/a Award recipients are Kem Gardner BS’67 JD’70, Theodore “Ted” Jacobsen BS’65 and Charlotte Garff Jacobsen BA’64, Frederick Kempe BA’76, and Donald Yacktman BS’65. John Bloomberg will receive the Honorary Alumnus Award, in recognition of his generous support of the John A. Moran Eye Center.

The Alumni Association will also recognize Juliet Kanyana, a premedical student, who is the 2014 Founders Day Scholarship recipient. The $6,000 scholarship is awarded annually to a student who has overcome difficult circumstances or challenges and has served the U and the community.

Distinguished Alumnus/a Awards:

Kem Gardner BS’67, JD’70
Gardner cofounded the Boyer Company and served as president for more than 30 years. He now chairs the Gardner Company. He has helped develop major facilities, such as the Gateway mall and the Adobe campus in Utah. A former chair of the state Board of Regents, he remains very active in higher education, serving on the National Advisory Council for the University of Utah.

Theodore “Ted” Jacobsen BS’65 and Charlotte Garff Jacobsen BA’64
The Jacobsens both had primary roles in development of the U’s Lowell Bennion Community Service Center. Ted led Jacobsen Construction for 30 years, building such iconic facilities as the Jon M. Huntsman Center and the Grand America Hotel. Charlotte has given countless hours of service to the U, including as a member of the U’s National Advisory Council. Ted is the immediate past chair of the U College of Engineering’s National Advisory Council.

Frederick Kempe BA’76
Kempe spent more than 25 years as a reporter, columnist and editor for The Wall Street Journal. Since 2006, he has served as president and chief executive officer of the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy think tank and public policy group. He has authored four books and regularly comments on CNBC and the BBC.

Donald Yacktman BS’65
Yacktman is president and portfolio manager of Yacktman Asset Management, which he founded in 1992. As head of what remain two of the world’s best-performing stock funds, Yacktman was ranked by Morningstar at No. 2 for domestic fund manager of the decade for 2000-2009.

Honorary Alumnus Award:

John Bloomberg
Bloomberg, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University, is a former Wall Street research analyst and competitive skier. After his vision began rapidly deteriorating, he was introduced to Dr. Randall J. Olson with the University of Utah’s Department of Ophthalmology and John A. Moran Eye Center. In gratitude for surgery that John has credited with saving his vision, he and his wife, Toni, began generously contributing to the Moran Eye Center.

Founders Day Scholar:

Juliet Kanyana
Kanyana is a University of Utah premedical student majoring in health, society and policy. She was four years old when militants attacked her village in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and she and her family were forced to flee. They reached Uganda the following year and eventually came to the United States as refugees when she was about 18. After finishing a year in high school in Salt Lake City, Kanyana enrolled at the U, where she is now a sophomore. Her aim is to become a physician and eventually return to Africa to help people there who don’t have access to quality medical care.


The Alumni Association is dedicated to forging and preserving lifelong relationships with alumni, students and the community. More about membership, news and events can be found here.