Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Marilyn Knoffsinger - Why I'm Grateful for SUU

Southern Utah State College provided a solid education for me and helped me sort through all available options. It helped me to select the major and minor that set me on a career in theatre, English, and education. It took some time for me to focus on classes and to complete assignments, but the faculty and staff members never gave up on me. They always supported and encouraged me; even my accounting professor who hounded me right up to graduation!

I loved the social aspect of SUSC! I gained lifelong friendships at the College. Some of my favorite memories of being involved in activities at SUSC include: breaking my arm in a production of Love’s Labour’s Lost on closing night, and being recognized with the Best Actress Award and the Student Achievement of the Year. I’ll never forget spending a solid week in the auditorium preparing for the Hall of Enchanted Trees. I don’t think anybody went to class that week!

A student’s four years extends beyond classrooms and text books, and SUSC provided many opportunities for extracurricular activity. There was always a place for any student to become involved, whether it was academics, athletics, the arts, student government, or clubs and committees. Every possible interest for every possible student was available.

I spent 25 years as a high school teacher, and I cannot tell you the number of times my professors’ words have spewed forth from my lips, much like the way we repeat the same things our parents said when we were younger! During an Advanced Placement Literature course I was teaching, I could hear Dr. David Lee’s poem analysis coming from my mouth. I still have Gary McIntyre’s handouts on drawing perspective scenery, which I made copies of and used for my technical theatre classes. I have also told and retold many of Fred Adams’ stories to my students in Pennsylvania.

I graduated in 1977 with more credits than required and still try to visit Cedar City as often as possible. I share my love of the city by bringing groups to the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Camp Shakespeare, and the national parks. It is my dream to continue sharing my memories and experiences of SUSC for as long as possible.

Marilyn Allen Knoffsinger is a 1977 alumna of SUU where she majored in Theatre Arts. She lives in State College, PA, and taught in the Bellefonte Area School District.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gerald R. Sherratt - Why I'm Grateful for SUU

It was in my freshman year at the Branch Agricultural College, now Southern Utah University, that I took a class in the Great Books. One of them was the Dialogues of Plato which in turn introduced me to Socrates, the Athenian philosopher who argues that “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates revolutionized human history, urging his fellow citizens to think, and to think hard, ask many questions and seek many answers, so that in the end, truth becomes apparent. Ordered to abandon his quest to seek truth, he forfeited his life.

I’m indebted to the BAC for making that acquaintance for me, as I have used the Socratic method (we call it today “critical thinking”) in approaching all of life’s many facets. And many times I have discovered––through questions and answers–– that what I thought was true, wasn’t. It has saved me from many a mistake.

The BAC was a special place. Even then, it was a liberal arts and sciences school. The teachers were well prepared and dedicated, and interested in their students. Some of them became life long friends whom I admired for their total commitment to quality teaching. Fortunately, the tenacity and hard work the faculty exhibited then still prevails at SUU, which is why the institution is gathering so many accolades and its graduates being so successful. 

Gerald R. Sherratt is a 1951 alumnus of SUU and resides in Cedar City, Utah.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Janice Marriott - Why I'm Grateful for SUU

Back row left to right: Dave Gomez, Terry Leavitt and
Doug Bishop. Front row left to right: Janice Marriott,
Laura Bringhurst, Kay Henderson, Susie Traasdahl,
and Karen Bybee
I attended CSU – as it was then known – in the mid to late 1960’s. I am from a small Utah town, my uncle was a professor there, the second president of the college was from my home town, and my older sister was attending CSU during the time I was making my decision. It came down to two choices actually: Utah State University and CSU. Maybe I was coerced a bit, but it all turned out for the best.

Our classes at that time were not gigantic, which I was grateful for. We were able to get one-on-one help from teachers, actually became friends with them, and created friendships with other students in our classes.

I had the opportunity to be a Thunderette, a cheerleader, be in a sorority (Chi Sigma Upsilon) with leadership opportunities, and actually be a “queen” for a day. These opportunities gave me confidence in attaining leadership positions during my career.

But far and away the most important aspect of attending CSU is the friendships I cultivated while there. And after 50 years, I can attest that these friendships continue as close and as important as ever. If not for CSU and these friendships, my life would not be as fulfilled and enriched as it has been.

Pictured left to right: Vanez Butler ('68),
Ada Carpenter ('35 and former faculty member
DeAnn Linares, Vicki Gomez, Janice Brown
and Linda Rowley
I am grateful that my friends and I are able to return each year to Homecoming to see lots of old friends and make new memories. I am grateful to the Alumni Association team for all they do to keep us connected.

I will forever be grateful for my CSU experience.

Janice Brown Marriott is 1968 alumna of SUU where she majored in Business Administration, Family Life and Fun! Janice lives in Layton, Utah.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Juliann Jenne - Why I'm Grateful for SUU

With Thanksgiving coming up, I am happy to give pause to remember how attending Southern Utah University helped mold and shape me into the person I have become and has truly blessed my life. “My Favorite Things” is a song from “The Sound of Music" that is often sung at Christmastime (which I never understood), so to be festive, here is my rendition and tribute to my alma mater:

Personalized instruction with top-rate instructors
Who knew my name and were really great mentors,
Building a resume that really sings - 
These were a few of my favorite things.

S-U-U-S-A, G-H-A, and STAB,
A-S-B (Alternative Spring Break), shows, games, and dances were fab.
Getting involved and the friendships it brings - 
These were a few of my favorite things.

Living in Juniper and College Ave,
So many roommates and fun to be had.
Making new best friends from falls into springs - 
These were a few of my favorite things.

When the kids cry,
When the alarm rings,
When I'm feeling sad -
I simply remember my SUU days
And then I don't feel so bad.

An institution that is just the right size to feel like home, in an intimate setting - nestled in beautiful red hills and close to many of earth’s natural wonders - with quality instruction, wonderful peers, staff, and professors, SUU is a bit of heaven on earth. I’m grateful every day for the opportunities it afforded me and the lasting relationships I have had with truly quality individuals because I made the fateful decision to attend that marvelous university. Happy holidays to all of you and may you also reflect upon your golden days at SUU with joy and gratitude.

Juliann Smith Jenne is 2004 alumna of SUU where she earned a BA in English Education. She and her husband Aaron and their three children live in Salt Lake City.