UVU presents the 14th annual alumni awards night

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On Sept 20, the UVU Alumni Association will award seven individuals who have gone above and beyond in their contributions to the university.

This year’s winners include LaVar Rockwood, Jim Cardall, Patrick Milligan, Amie Huntsman, Martha Wilson and Alejandro Perez. 

The Outstanding Alumni award winner will not be named until the awards night. This is the first time the award has been presented at UVU and honors graduates who have done exceptional work since attending the university.

“It’s such a privilege to work with people who voluntarily give so much of themselves by dedicating their time and expertise to the university,” Jeri Allphin, director of alumni relations said. “Our students, future students, and fellow alumni benefit from the time they give, and it’s a wonderful moment to honor people who really make a difference here.”

All recipients were nominated by students, staff, alumni or community members and interviewed by the Alumni Association. Winners were selected based on their loyalty to UVU and the level of service they dedicated to the university.

“We asked the award winners why they give so much to the university, and they all say they don’t do it to be recognized. They do it because they love the university, and they really make a difference,” Allphin said.

The Wilson Sorensen Lifetime Achievement Award will be going to LaVar Rockwood, who has spent decades improving UVU through teaching business and communications courses at the university, overseeing student activities and student government, advocating for equal pay for women administrators and serving as dean of administrative services.

Although Legacy Award winner Cardall is not an alumnus, he has devoted countless hours to presentations and consultations for UVU gift-planning clients, producing significant donations. Cardall volunteers on the Business & Economic Task Force, participates in the annual President’s Scholarship Ball and volunteers at the Alumni Family Fun Fair.

Milligan, vice president for corporate sales and marketing at Simply Mac, will be receiving the Pinnacle Award. He established a mentoring program that paired hundreds of students in the Woodbury School of Business with industry professionals, enhanced the school’s annual job fair, and recently presented at the Reed & Christine Halladay Executive Lecture Series. He is now a member of the Woodbury School of Business National Advisory Council.

Huntsman is the winner of the Young Alumni Award, having graduated from UVU in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. During her time as a student at UVU, she was an editor at the UVU Review, vice president of Wolverine PR and a member of the UVU Spirit Squad and various student government committees.

Following graduation, she began work in UVU’s Office of Extended Studies, where she found opportunities to better the University through model work ethic and creative skills. She recently became coordinator of alumni marketing and memberships, where she channels her love of UVU into her work with other alumni.

Wilson will be receiving the Alumni Distinguished Service Award for her improvements to student success and retention. As UVU’s First Year Experience coordinator, she created programs to encourage students to reach their graduation goals, including the “I Choose to Retain” marketing campaign, the Freshman Reading Program and the inaugural Freshman Convocation in 2012.

Winner of the Distinguished Student Service Award, Perez is recognized for his leadership, his engagement in university life and his passion for helping other students to ensure that they have a positive and successful experience. 

Among the many tittles that apply to Perez, a UVU student from Brazil who will graduate in 2014 with a degree in international business, are President of UVU’s Rotaract Club, vice president of the Christine M. Durham Pre-law Club, instructor and president of the UVU taekwondo club and neighborhood chair in the Orem City Neighborhood in Action Program.

“On the Alumni website, our former students will share their stories, and it’s amazing to hear what they have to say. There are a lot of students who have attended with the mindset that this is their last chance at success,” said Allphin. “With the encouragement of professors, alumni, and fellow students, they leave with a diploma and obtain jobs and a life that once seemed far out of reach.”

As more students continue to flock for their opportunity to shine, alumni pave the way by dedicating time and service in their efforts to continuously improve the university. The alumni awards night is about recognizing those individuals that help make it possible for their fellow students to achieve their dreams.