University News

Braithwaite, Church to be inducted in SUU Hall of Honor

Published: March 24, 2004 | Author: Renee Ballenger | Category: Special Events

The annual celebration of the beginnings of Southern Utah University will take place Friday, March 26—SUU Founders’ Day 2004.

Founders’ Day is a time to remember the people who have given of themselves for the advancement of SUU, from those first days more than a hundred years ago, to today. Every Founders’ Day, SUU President Steven Bennion inducts individuals who have made significant contributions to the University into the Institution’s Hall of Honor. Such contributions are not just financial support, but just as important, to the sharing of knowledge, volunteerism, sponsorships, time, deep, sincere support, and heart.

Two individuals will be distinguished this year by being inducted into the SUU Hall of Honor: Alice Braithwaite, former first lady of SUU, and Sterling Church, 30+ year veteran of SUU, who, upon his retirement, was the Vice President of Student Services. (biographies follow below)

The Founders’ Day Tropical Fantasy begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the Convention Center Lobby of the Sharwan Smith Center on the SUU campus. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. in the Smith Center’s Ballroom. A delightful program will begin at 7 p.m. featuring the talents of SUU students, the induction of Braithwaite and Church, and also the recognition of Distinguished Service award recipients, Cyndi Gilbert, Larry Lunt, and Gale & Alice Waite. At 8 p.m., accomplished pianist, Rob Gonzales, will perform.

A dance with the Win Seegmiller Band, and then a DJ, starts at 9 p.m. Tickets to Dinner, Entertainment and Dance are $25 per couple at the door. To attend the Entertainment and Dance only, is just $5 per person at the door. Please RSVP for Dinner by March 22 at 435.586.7775 or 586.7702.

Alice Todd Braithwaite was the First Lady of Southern Utah University for 23 years, during which she brought singular grace, compassion and energy to the position. Braithwaite is known to never settle for “just enough.” Married to former SUU President Royden Braithwaite, Alice threw herself fervently into countless worthy causes and endeavors, while serving the Institution and throughout her life to this day. Her vitality is evident in the fact that, while First Lady of SUU, she also taught elementary school for 20 years and served with selflessness and stellar on a wide variety of community boards and committees while keeping the home fires burning. Ever one to perpetuate and advance the traditions of higher education, she worked serve students, staff, faculty and alumni. Her rural youth and service as a student at Jordan High School and Brigham Young University prepared her well for a lifetime of good work. As Dean of Women at Weber State University, she was respected and well-liked for her judiciousness, discernment and empathy. In Cedar City, her tireless labors to improve healthcare were served well when she served as chair of the Valley View Medical Center Board for 13 years. It is for her intelligence and wit; knowledge and wisdom; her charm and spirit; and for her service and commitment to SUU and the community that the Institution is delighted to induct Alice Braithwaite into the SUU Hall of Honor this Founders’ Day.

Sterling R. Church served for 30+ years as the chief student services officer at Southern Utah University. Under the leadership of four different presidents, Church worked closely with student leaders and student services staff members to ensure students were given the help and encouragement necessary to succeed on campus and in life. With a personal mission of continually reminding people that students come first and that they were the reason why the campus existed, Church was an advocate of student involvement in campus decisions. He is known to frequently quote the statement that, “People support that which they help create.” Another prominent element of his philosophy is his belief that students benefit greatly by being involved in service learning opportunities in addition to the classroom. The completion of the Sharwan Smith Student Center was a realization of a dream and the efforts of Dr. Church, along with numerous colleagues and students. Church first came to the then-College of Southern Utah campus as a freshman in 1960 after graduating from Delta High School. He graduated from CSU in 1964 with a degree in education and taught school in Springville, Utah, before attending Arizona State University where he received a Master of Arts degree in counseling in 1966. He then returned to Cedar City to become the Director of Student Activities and a counselor in the Counseling Center at his alma mater. After a stint away to obtain his doctorate and working at BYU, he returned to SUU (then- Southern Utah State College) as the Dean of Students and an Associate Professor of Education and Psychology. Today, even, after being “officially” retired, Church is still serving SUU on a voluntary basis as a special assistant to President Bennion. Sterling Church is a legacy of SUU who has made an impact on hundreds of lives. Students and co-workers love and respect him for his intelligence and gentleness.

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