Marie “Ree” Zaphiropoulos to Receive an Honorary Doctorate Degree from SUU

Published: May 01, 2007 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Southern Utah University selected Marie “Ree” Zaphiropoulos to receive an honorary doctorate degree of Humane Letters.

Her degree will be conferred during the 108th annual commencement exercises on Saturday May 5, 2007 in the Centrum Arena.

Zaphiropoulos was born in Palo Alto, California, but grew up on a ranch in Portola Valley before leaving home at 19 to attend Foothill College. She spent one year during her schooling as a foreign exchange student in Vienna, Austria

Zaphiropoulos met her husband, Renn Zaphiropoulos, while working as an executive secretary for Varian Associates, located in Mountain View, California. She went on to work as a corporate secretary and office manager for Dr. Thoma J. Fogarty, a world renowned cardiovascular surgeon for 14 years. She then spent 18 months living in Dallas, Texas, supporting her husband in his new job as the corporate vice president of Xerox in charge of their office products division, before returning to the Silicon Valley.

In 1985 the Zaphiropoulos’ purchased property in the mountains just west of Cedar City and spent the next two years preparing a house to settle into. Upon moving to their new location they quickly became heavily involved in building the community.

Zaphiropoulos currently serves on all of the following community and University boards: Cedar City Arts Council, Cedar City Music Arts, Friends of the Braithwaite Art Gallery, Dean Byrnes Braithwaite Advisory Committee, Friends of the Utah Children’s Justice Center, Parks and Recreation and Diamond Z Arena Committee, IHC Foundation Board and Capital Campaign Committee, Utah Shakespearean Festival Board, SUU Rodeo Team Fundraising Committee, SUU Farm Task Force, and Cedar City Community Advisory Board for the Festival Hall.

She is also a member of the SUU Old Main Society and remains heavily involved in the SUU Zaphiropoulos Endowment Fund. In 2002, the Cedar City Area Chamber of Commerce named her the “Woman of the Year and together, Zaphiropoulos and her husband, received the Iron County Home Builders Association Community Achievement Award.

Still embracing her childhood experiences, Zaphiropoulos is the CEO and CFO of the Diamond Z Rankch and serves as secretary of the Renn and Marie Zaphiropoulos Foundation. She also cares for her fourteen English Shire horses and tours the western states with the horses performing in rodeos, parades, wagon trains, and educational programs.

It is due to these life experiences and knowledge that Zaphiropoulos was selected to receive this honor.

Commencement will begin at 9 a.m. with the selected keynote and student speakers, awarding of honorary doctorate degrees and other special recognitions. Following which graduate degrees and certificates will be awarded during individual college convocations. For more information regarding SUU’s commencement ceremonies, visit

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