SUU Fan Fest, January 2015.
James (Jim) Bryan Roberts (’98, Chemistry) comes from a Southern Utah University (SUU) legacy. His parents Gwena Roberts (’72, Elementary Education) and the late Bob Roberts (’74, Physical Education), both graduated from SUU back when it was Southern Utah State College.
It was here he met his wife, Jeanette (Jenny Hardy) Roberts (’99, Business Administration) who attended on a full-ride softball scholarship.
"SUU holds a special place in our hearts because it’s where we met, where we earned our degrees and where we began our married life," says Jim and Jenny.
Jim is President and co-owner of True North Mortgage, LLC as well as the co-owner of a real estate investment company. He credits his problem solving abilities to Ty Redd’s Organic Chemistry class. "Ty Redd professed on the first day of class that his was the most difficult O-Chem class in the country," says Jim. "This class in particular pushed me to my limits and taught me problem solving skills that I use daily, even though my businesses have nothing to do with Chemistry."
As hard as he tried, Jim was never successful at getting a 100 percent on an O-Chem test, but he is proud to say that he tutored Jenny in O-Chem, and she achieved 100 percent on one of her O-Chem tests, so this became one of many shared accomplishments for them.
"My primary job is the best job – I’m a mom. In my spare time I have two professions – fitness instructor and business manager for my husband’s mortgage company," said Jenny.
Fitness is Jenny’s passion. She teaches several classes a week at her local YMCA and runs a summer boot camp. She’s ran several marathons including the St. George Marathon and the Boston Marathon. Her goal is to one day participate in an Ironman.
"I’m just a normal person, I’m not a really fast runner,” says Jenny. “I just made a goal, prepared, worked hard, sacrificed, pushed myself to my personal limits and discovered a whole new set of limits." Jenny attributes her time management abilities to juggling the task of student and athlete.
"Being a college athlete took up a lot of time and added a level of difficulty to maintaining high academic standards … from these experiences I learned not to procrastinate," says Jenny. "Today, I consider my time management skills to be one of my greatest assets."
Jim and Jenny have been happily married for seventeen years and are the proud parents of four: Tommy (14), Austin (12), Sammy (9) and Sarah (7). They enjoy volunteering their time to make a difference for their kids and the youth in their community by coaching and supporting them in team sports and leading them in the Scouting program. They currently reside in Litchfield Park, AZ.