Governor Acknowledges Outstanding SUU Students (2006)

Published: November 22, 2006 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Written by Isaac Holyoak, a junior Communication major from Murray, UT

Four Southern Utah University students were honored at the second annual Governor’s Scholars luncheon hosted by Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. earlier this month at the Governor’s Mansion.

Caitlin Holladay, a sophomore communication major from Nephi; Kate Merkley, a sophomore social science major from Sandy; Joshua Seumalu, a junior communication major from St. George; and Rory Spence, a sophomore finance major from Las Vegas, were recognized at the luncheon.

Neal Cox, SUU’s Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, helped coordinate the event. “All four of these students represent us well,” he says. The students were nominated by Steve Kiisel, Student Body President, and Dean Cox.

According to Holladay, the students were chosen based on “academic achievement, leadership, involvement, and citizenship.” She was excited to be chosen to participate in the event. “Because I love SUU,” she says, “I was naturally enthusiastic to represent Southern Utah University at such a dignified event.”

Four students were selected from each of Utah’s colleges and universities for academic excellence in their freshman or sophomore years. Governor Huntsman and President Emeritus Chase Petersen, University of Utah, spoke to the luncheon attendees. Richard Kendell, Commissioner of Higher Education, was also in attendance. Huntsman and Petersen spoke to the attendees about “using our knowledge, education, and success to benefit others and help them to reach their potential,” says Holladay.

“I think that it is great to have a governor who is interested in student input,” remarks Cox. The governor “honors the combination of scholarship and social contributions.”

Seumalu was also honored to represent SUU and was especially pleased with the chance to “share how great of an institution we are to the rest of the schools in Utah.”

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