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University of Utah Celebrates 153rd Anniversary of Its Founding

H. Kent Bowen

February 05, 2003 — To commemorate the founding of the University of Utah in 1850, the University’s Alumni Association will hold its annual Founders Day celebration on Wed., Feb. 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Little America Hotel. Five alumni and one non-alumnus will be honored with a reception, dinner, and the presentation of awards.

The University’s Distinguished Alumni, Honorary Alumni, and Distinguished Service awards are given to those who have distinguished themselves professionally and personally by supporting the University and its mission, and by serving local and national communities. The achievements of each of this year’s honorees will be highlighted in brief video presentations.

“The 2003 Founders Day recipients are outstanding examples of the University of Utah’s exceptional alumni and supporters,” says M. John Ashton, executive director of the Alumni Association. “They are not only distinguished in their professions and life achievements but have also brought recognition to the University. We are proud to honor them.”

Those being honored this year include:


H. Kent Bowen, B.S. in engineering, 1967. Professor, researcher, and administrator at Harvard University Graduate School of Business.

Larry EchoHawk, J.D., College of Law, 1973. A member of the Pawnee Indian Tribe, former Idaho attorney general and state legislator, and currently on the faculty of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University.

Robert H. Garff, B.S. in accounting, 1966, M.B.A., 1967. Owner and CEO of Garff Enterprises, Inc., and former chair of the Board of Trustees for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Peggy Bennion Papp, B.F.A. in communications and speech communications, 1950. Family therapist and senior faculty member at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, founder and director of Ackerman’s Depression and Gender Project, New York City.


Jack R. Wheatley. Retired contractor and managing general partner of WSJ Properties, Palo Alto, Calif. Supporter of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Lowell Bennion Service Center, the Department of Radiology, and the Utah Pioneering Women in Medicine Endowed Chair.


U.S. Congressman James V. Hansen, B.S. in speech communication, 1962. Honored for his service to Utah and to the U, in acquiring funding for the new Utah Museum of Natural History, securing land at Fort Douglas, and supporting University students.

The Alumni Association will also recognize Silvia Salguero, recipient of the 2003 Founders Day scholarship. Salguero is the beneficiary of legislation passed by the Utah legislature last March that allows children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates for education at state universities or colleges. A graduate of Park City High School, Salguero is studying to become a nurse.

“Maintaining access to educational opportunities is a priority for the University,” says President Machen. “I’m particularly pleased that the Alumni Association, through its scholarship, can help Silvia fulfill her educational goals. This year’s Founders Day honorees demonstrate just how valuable higher education can be in helping all individuals achieve their dreams.”

Tickets to the Feb. 19 event are $85 per person. For reservations, please call Lisa Wardlow at the Alumni Association at 801-585-9012 by Feb. 10. Sponsors of the Founders Day celebration include the Deseret News, KSL-5 Television, Leon and Karen F. Peterson, The Tempest Company, University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics, and Wells Fargo Bank.