Many years ago, myself and an energetic group of high school students decided to embark upon a grand adventure—to travel from Utah to Rexburg, Idaho, and check out Ricks College. Our second day there we went to a fast and testimony meeting, and the spirit was very strong and bore witness of the special nature of the college. I attended and graduated from Ricks, and the desire to stay connected to the university has never left me. Was it the teachers? Administrators? Fellow students? Yes. It was all of them.
Fast forward about 10 years. I contacted the Admissions Office at Ricks College and volunteered to be an alumni ambassador. I was loaded up with brochures, and away I went. For some reason, as we extend ourselves to share the Spirit of Ricks, the spirit, light, fire, and excitement is rekindled within us. How can we as alumni remember the Spirit of Ricks, and then use that to light the path for others?
We are lights on the hill. But if that light be dimmed, how can we be a guiding force in the lives of others? May we always recall with fondness our years at this wonderful university, and then—more importantly—stay connected and do our part to help others enjoy this life-changing experience called the Spirit of Ricks.
Craig Cobia ´79
BYU-Idaho Alumni Association President
Alumni and students have a new tool to connect with one another—BYUI Connect, a new online social network found at www.byuiconnect.org.
The purposes of the site, according to Alumni and Community Connections Director Steve Davis, are to help current students form networks with alumni in their chosen fields, to help alumni reconnect with old classmates, and to provide a place for news of the Alumni Association.
Primarily, BYUI Connect will serve as a tool for the BYUI Mentoring Network, a group of current students, alumni, campus employees, and friends of the university who provide career, academic, and personal support. Volunteers in the Mentoring Network connect with students to provide career advice, compare notes, and point the way to job opportunities. To join this network, visit BYUI Connect, and click on the BYUI Mentoring Network link.
Henry J. Eyring, Advancement vice president, emphasized the role that alumni can play in helping students make the transition from the academic to the organizational world. “The alumni know firsthand what it's like to take a degree and turn it into something you can make a living with,” Eyring said. “This site is the key to passing on that knowledge.”
A directory on the site includes all alumni and students and displays basic contact information, making it easy to connect with one another. In addition, users can post blogs, get RSS feeds, display YouTube videos, and link to other accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. They can also keep updated on the latest news from the Alumni Association, including upcoming reunions and other events.
Experience the 2011 Yucatan Adventure Jan. 29–Feb. 6, 2011
Our 2011 BYU-Idaho Alumni and Friends Tour will take us to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, focusing on the northern regions. We will stay in three different cities: Valladolid, Merida, and Playa del Carmen. This tour will include a combination of visiting ancient Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes, and relaxing on the beaches of Progreso and Playa Del Carmen. The cost is $1,550 per person (based on double occupancy) and includes airfare, accommodations, entrance into all of the sites, transportation, and some meals. A $300 deposit is required to secure a booking and must be received by Oct. 1. Bookings will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
The time spent at BYU-Idaho can be rewarding in its educational and professional value, but a diploma or a job isn't the only benefit enjoyed by those who have walked the halls of this university. Alumni and current BYU-Idaho employees are entitled to benefits such as trips, discounts, gifts, and opportunities to serve.
Once a year, the Alumni Association takes a group on a tour somewhere in the world; the next trip, which leaves in February, will explore the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. In the past, the association has taken trips to places such as Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and Greece. Alumni can also take part in reunions, an annual trip to Lagoon with lower pricing, and discounts at the University Store.
Alumni can find out about these benefits and more on the BYUI Connect Web site at www.byuiconnect.org.
Alumni can also mentor recent graduates and current students. First, alumni can become BYU-Idaho ambassadors, acting as official representatives of the university wherever they live. Ambassadors serve as local contacts, encourage promising students to come to BYU-Idaho, and serve as a resource for mentoring. Alumni can also join the Mentoring Network and be readily available to give career advice and help students and graduates find internships and jobs. To become an ambassador or to join the Mentoring Network, log on to www.byuiconnect.org, and fill out the volunteer form under “Mentoring Network.”
The BYU-Idaho Emeritus Alumni Association presented an Alumni Award of Excellence on June 19 to Jerry Roundy.
Jerry Roundy was born and grew up in Escalante, Utah. He enlisted in the Navy at age 20 and served for four years on two different aircraft carriers. After his service in the Navy he was called as a missionary to the Eastern States Mission. He attended Utah State University and Brigham Young University, receiving his doctorate from BYU in 1976. His dissertation was “Ricks College: A Struggle for Survival.”
Roundy has taught at several schools in the Church Educational System, including Ricks College, BYU, and the BYU Jerusalem Center. He has served as president of the California Sacramento Mission and has been involved with many civic organizations to help preserve the history of Escalante. He married Colleen Marrott in 1957, and she passed away from cancer in 1985. He then married Sherree Schow Spencer in 1986. Roundy has seven children, 25 grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.
BYU-Idaho faculty member Leon Parson is the 2010 recipient of the Eliza R. Snow Award.
Each year, the Eliza R. Snow Society for the Performing and Visual Arts recognizes and honors an individual who has excelled in the performing and visual arts. The recipient must be an alumnus of BYU-Idaho and be supportive of the university and its programs.
“I am very honored to receive the award,” said Parson. “A student came to one of my classes to shoot some footage of me teaching. He explained that it was for the Snow Society, but I didn't realize until later what it would be used for. I was very surprised when I found out.”
Parson has been an instructor of art at BYU-Idaho for 31 years. Some of his professional work includes: five portraits of members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Twin Falls and Rexburg Idaho Temple murals, and original framed paintings for the Vancouver British Columbia Temple.
Parson has completed paintings for the Laie Hawaii and Gila Valley Arizona Temples, and is currently working on portraits of Elder Neil L. Andersen and President Thomas S. Monson.
Parson has painted close to 100 magazine and book covers. He has also created over 50 paintings that have become limited-edition prints. Many of his works have been purchased for various private collections.
The Emeriti Alumni Association has scheduled the next Emeritus Breakfast for Saturday, Nov. 13, at 9 a.m., in the Manwaring Center Special Events Room. Event details will be posted at BYUI Connect (www.byuiconnect.org).