University News

Annual Alumni Banquet Honors Three SUU Alumni

Published: October 09, 2018 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Category: Alumni

The 2018 Alumni Banquet will be held on Thursday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Gilbert Great Hall at Southern Utah University. SUU Alumni will honor and celebrate the connection as alumni and friends of SUU.

This year, three individuals will be recognized for their contributions and service: Mvemba Dizolele, Kathryn Berg, and Rhett Guter.

2018-10-mvemba-dizolele.jpgOutstanding Alumnus Award - Mvemba Phezo Dixolele

The Outstanding Alumnus Award, presented to a graduate who has distinguished him/herself through community involvement and/or profession will be given to Mvemba Phezo Dixolele.

Congo native Mvemba Phezo Dixolele, who earned degrees in political science and French from SUU in 1994, has fashioned an acclaimed career as a perceptive observer of the world’s political and economic spheres. An educator in the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, he is also a respected foreign policy analyst, writer, and independent journalist.

Author of the forthcoming biography Mobutu: the Rise and Fall of the Leopard King, his analyses have been widely published, he is a frequent commentator on African affairs and other topics on a variety of news and public affairs radio and television programs, and he has testified before Congressional committees and the United Nations Security Council. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, he holds two master’s degrees and speaks French, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish,

2018-10-kathryn-berg.jpgDistinguished Service Award - Dr. Kathryn Berg

The Distinguished Service Award, honoring an individual for his/her exceptional service, contribution, and dedication to SUU and his/her community will be given to Dr. Kathryn Berg.

Dr. Kathryn Berg served as a coach and associate athletic director here for 34 years. Beginning in 1968, she also taught and led track and field, gymnastics, volleyball, basketball, softball, tennis and swimming teams. It was her task to develop the institution’s women’s intercollegiate athletic program and thus became the “founding pioneer” of Thunderbird women’s athletics, also helping to oversee SUU’s transition to NCAA Division I. She is a member of several halls of fame and aided in establishing the Utah Summer Games. In 2005, the SUU softball field was named in her honor, and the following year she received an honorary doctorate degree. A native of Heber, Utah, she is a graduate of BYU, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Her doctorate is from the University of Utah. She has ever served as a champion of SUU students and even today is a strong advocate for Thunderbird alumni.Spanish, Swahili, Kikongo and Lingala. He and his wife Kunda and their two children live in the nation’s capital.

2018-10-rhett-ghuter.jpgYoung Alumnus Award - Rhett Guter

The Young Alumnus Award, recognizing a younger alumnus that has made, and continues to make, important contributions to the SUU Alumni Association through his/her service and activity will be given to Rhett Guter.

Rhett Guter is a New York-based equity actor and choreographer whose passion is collaboration in theatre arts and storytelling. He earned two bachelor’s degrees in theatre and dance from SUU in 2010 and has joined that education with exceptional talent to become a successful performer in myriad projects all over the country from Shakespeare, to musical theatre, to new works.

A native of St. George, he was introduced to SUU after attending a high school theatre camp at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. He subsequently later earned a four-year academic scholarship to the University and his natural talent landed him a job with the Shakespeare company during his first summer at SUU, a difficult feat for a young actor. The Festival continued to hire Rhett every summer while he was a student, and today he points to his overall experience on campus as an integral key to his success in the theatre.


The Annual Alumni Banquet & Honors is open to all SUU alumni and friends. To purchase tickets, please call (435) 586-7777.

See the full schedule of Homecoming events.

Tags: Alumni

Contact Information:

Nikki Koontz, executive director of marketing and communication
435-586-5400
nikkikoontz@suu.edu