Charlie DensonUSU Alumni Spotlight

Meet Charlie Denson, co-President of Nike Brand. Mr. Denson’s first position at Nike began in 1979, where he was assistant store manager of "The Athletic Department" in southeast Portland, the first Nike-owned retail store. Since then, he has held many positions with the Nike company, including Vice President of U.S. and European sales, and the General Manager of Nike USA. Mr. Denson, along with Mark Parker, were handed day-to-day control of the brand by Nike Chairman and CEO Philip H. Knight, in May of 2002.

One of Mr. Denson’s favorite aspects of Nike is, "Learning new things – new cultures, new people, new ways to do business. The most rewarding parts of my job are seeing people succeed and observing the cause and effect of the right decisions being made."

Mr. Denson received his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Utah State University in 1978. While attending USU, he was a football letter winner for the Aggies. Outside of work, he likes, "Golfing, running, tennis, a fair amount of skiing, and the occasional whatever. Also spending time with my wife, Trina, and our young sons, Justin and Jackson, and not nearly enough time with my teenaged daughter, Lindsey." Originally from Corvallis, Oregon, he currently resides in Portland with his family. He remains a loyal Aggie.

Dinner with Twelve Strangers
Though the phrase may sound intimidating and unusual, Dinner with Twelve Strangers has become an excellent opportunity for students to network with USU Alumni who have graduated in their field of study. Alumni and faculty host dinners at their own expense for the students and answer questions about their mistakes and successes after graduation. Recent hosts have been Dave and Suzanne Moore, Fred and Sharon Hunsaker, Bernice McCowin, Andrea Saxton and Michelle Dunker. If you are interested in hosting a Dinner with Twelve Strangers, please contact Patty Halaufia at (435) 797-2053

Utah State receives Million Dollar Gift
A million dollar endowment was given to the Landscape Architecture Department from 1984 graduate Sumner Swaner and his mother Paula M. Swaner-Smoot. The endowment establishes a green space institute and the Sumner Margetts Swaner Professorship. The institute’s mission is to provide education and scientific research in responsible planning that incorporates community values, sustainable growth and the conservation of open space. The Swaner family has pledged more than one million dollars, and the university’s goal is to raise an additional $715,000 for institute programs, graduate student support and internships.

USU Library Funding Approved
One of the last items addressed by the Utah Legislature in the closing session was the bonding of a new library for Utah State University. USU will receive $40 million in funding for the library project. Utah State plans to break ground for the new building in the spring or summer and have the library completed in 2005. “The Merrill Library is one of the most dangerous publicly occupied buildings in the state of Utah, and it’s coming down as soon as we can get the new library put up,” said President Kermit Hall.

Out-of-State Students to Get Some Tuition Relief
The Utah House Education Committee unanimously passed out of committee House Bill 75, a substitute bill that will grant tuition waivers to nonresident students effectively countering the negative impact of HB 331 on state universities. The Senate also signed off on the bill during the last day of the 2003 session. HB 75 attempts to temporarily mitigate problems that were caused last year when legislators passed a law that more than doubled the length of time nonresidents had to spend in Utah to become eligible for in-state tuition rates.

Utah State University President Kermit L. Hall said passage of this bill will provide an important five-year transition to ease HB 331’s full impact. HB 331 doubled the number of residency years and credit hours required of out-of-state students before qualifying for lower in-state tuition. Passage of the bill will help to shore up Utah State’s revenue base by permitting the university to continue to rely on out-of-state students to help subsidize the in-state students. By being able to provide tuition waivers in the proposed bill, the university could focus on regaining students it lost. The number of out-of-state freshman is down 25 percent from 2001. USU, which has a long history of drawing students from Idaho, has been particularly hard hit, losing more than $1 million in anticipated tuition.

Founders Day
USU commemorated 115 years of educating students from around the world during the Founders Day celebration on March 7, 2003 in Salt Lake City. The Alumni Association recognized six individuals with the Distinguished Alumnus or Distinguished Service Awards. The awards were presented to Lowell L. Peterson, Dr. E. William and Audrey Jackson, Raymond Somers, Kaye T. Jorgensen, and Brady Howell. Each of these individuals has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to their communities and the university. Click on:

Dr. E. William and Audrey Jackson
Dr. E. William and
Audrey Jackson
Lowell L. Peterson
Lowell L. Peterson
Kaye T. Jorgensen
Kaye T.
Raymond Somers
Raymond Somers
Brady Howell
Brady Howell

Note of Interest
Within a year of his confirmation as head of the Federal Mining Safety and Health Administration, David Lauriski ’72 Att was put to the test. The Assistant Secretary of Labor flew to Pennsylvania to help oversee rescue operations at the Quecreek Mine. Nine miners were trapped underground for three-and-a-half days after millions of gallons of water burst through a hole accidentally drilled into an adjacent, abandoned mine. Lauriski’s agency is responsible for determining the causes of the accident. Lauriski was nominated to the federal post by President George Bush. He is a 30-year veteran of the mining industry with 15 years at PaciCorp and 14 at Kaisar Steel.

Online Directory
Remember, the free Utah State University online directory will be available March 15th. All public records may be accessed at that time. If you have not updated your profile, please do so. This directory is your opportunity to network for jobs and connect with old friends. You’ll find the directory at

Yellow Pages
Watch for the Utah State Yellow Pages in the online community. These Yellow Pages enable you to find the products and services advertised by fellow Aggies. You can also post your own listing or resume to promote your product or service for a nominal fee. This will be available March 15th.


Utah State University Alumni Relations sponsors many exciting events throughout the year. To keep informed about the most current ones, visit often.


Chapter News:

Davis County Chapter News
How about an evening spent for a good cause and a good time? The Davis County Aggie Chapter invites you to a Blue & White Gala honoring Margaret Anderson, Jed Pitcher, and Claudette and Dan Eastman for their contributions to the university and community. The event will be held at the Wells Fargo Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 19, 2003. Entertainment will be provided by musical performing group "lokalgrown". Proceeds will be used to provide scholarships for Davis County students to attend Utah State University. For tickets call (800) 291-2586.

Eastern Idaho News
Come join the fun at the Eastern Idaho Aggie Chapter Merit Citation Award Reception on Friday, March 28, 2003. The chapter is honoring J. Richard Hinchcliff, Catherine Wright Harrison, Neil Kunz, and Bruce Schmalz for their commitment to the community and the university. The reception begins at 6:30 that evening at the O.E. Bell Historical Building in the foyer located at 161 N. Ridge in Idaho Falls. There will be appetizers, punch and aggie ice cream for all. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Cheri Hart at (208) 535-0574.

Retirement Planning Seminar
Utah County Chapter
When: Thursday, March 20, 7-8 p.m.
Where: Utah County Extension Office - Old Courthouse Ballroom, 51 South University Avenue in Provo, Utah.
RSVP: by March 14 at 1-435-797-1158 or 1-888-653-6246. Seating is limited.

Travel Opportunities

Watch for further travel opportunities in our next eNewsletter, including a September Arizona football weekend.

American Heritage Tour
To find more information visit or contact Scott Olson at (435) 797-2055.

To find more information, visit or contact Scott Olson at (435) 797-2055.

January 31st through February 16th, dozens of Aggies joined together for a "Journey Down Under" to New Zealand and Australia. Two weeks aboard the Legend of the Seas with various stops in these beautiful countries provided a memorable journey for all the travelers. Take a glimpse of this experience:



28th Annual Big West Basketball Tournament
The Big West Conference Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament returns to the Anaheim Convention Center Arena for the third consecutive year. The men’s tournament will run Thursday, March 13 through Saturday, March 15. For tickets call the Utah State ticket office at 797-0305 or 1-888-Ustate-1 (1-888-878-2831).

If you're planning on attending the tournament, be sure to join us for the Alumni Pregame Party. It will be held 3:00-5:30 pm on Friday, March 14 at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel located at 777 Convention Center Way. Parking is available at the hotel or at the Anaheim Convention Center. The cost is $10.00 per person. Activities include a Mexican buffet, prizes, scholarship raffles and a cash bar. RSVP by March 12 to USU Alumni Relations – (435) 797-2055 or call Toll Free at 1-800-291-2586.

Spring Football Scrimmage in Davis County
Come get an early look at the upcoming football season! Mick Dennehy will take his Aggie football squad to Northridge High School in Layton, UT for a spring scrimmage. The event is scheduled for Friday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m.

Check out for the latest news and information about Aggie athletics.

If you would like to receive electronic updates from Athletics, e-mail Ken Beazer at