SUU to Everywhere

Richelle Thompson Pridmore ('01)

Richelle Thompson Pridmore ('01)
SUU to Episcopal Priest

Originally published on July 17, 2020.

Born to SUU, Richelle Pridmore was well-steeped in the character of the University, and her life, she says, traveled “the scenic route” from there to become priest-in-charge of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Fayette, Alabama, last year following her 2018 ordination to the priesthood.

The Thompsons—Ric, who taught anthropology and archeology prior to his 1994 passing, and Georgia Beth, a student services stalwart for more than three decades—provided a grand example of the value of higher education.

Richelle was greatly advantaged by her work with the SUU Theatre program and the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and becoming immediately involved paid enormous dividends and led to her later conducting entry levels classes, fostering a passion for teaching.

“That experience led me to taking a job in education, and discovering that I am, whatever my job, a teacher and mentor,” she says.

She earned her degree in theatre arts in 2001, and began a nearly 20-year career as a teacher and resident sound designer, training others who have likewise gone on to successful careers.

The Cedar City native points to SUU directly preparing her for that calling and, indirectly, for her midlife career change.

“SUU prepared me to be a teacher, laid the ground work for me to be a mentor, and gave me the space to explore my many interests. I took a lot of electives, and that extra study made me a better, well-rounded technician and artist, and now priest. SUU offered me opportunities for leadership, and also allowed me to fail. There were consequences for that failure that I had to address, correct, and account for, but that prepared me for the inevitable failure of real life.”

Richelle enjoys still being a mentor and friend to young people in her ecclesiastical setting. She and her husband of 12 years, Jeff Pridmore, are active in their community and volunteer with Christian Center of Concern, a community food bank and service organization founded by the St. Michael’s congregation.