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April 2004

In This Issue:







USU Alumni Spotlight - Kay L. Toolson, Chairman/CEO of Monaco Coach Corporation

A native of Smithfield, Utah, Kay Toolson completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Utah State University in 1968.  Following graduation, he accepted a position with Xerox Corporation.  Mr. Toolson returned to Utah State University in 1970, earning his M.B.A. through Xerox’s continuing education program.

Mr. Toolson joined the recreational vehicle industry in 1972 as Product Manager for Kings Highway Mobile Industries in Los Angeles, where he later held the positions of National Sales Manager and Vice President.  In 1982, Mr. Toolson joined Anaheim, California motorhome manufacturer Executive Industries as a minority owner and Executive Vice President of Operations, a position he held until 1986.

Kay joined Eugene, Oregon-based Monaco Coach Corporation in 1986 and completed a management buyout of the company in 1993.  He has served as Chief Executive Officer for the company since 1986 and as Chairman since July 1993.  From 1986 to 1995, Mr. Toolson also served as the company’s President.

During Mr. Toolson’s tenure with Monaco Coach Corporation, the company has grown from a small, specialty recreational vehicle manufacturer recording $17 million in annual revenue to a 5,700 employee company producing a broad spectrum of recreational vehicles and annual revenue in excess of $1.2 billion.

In addition to his role with Monaco Coach Corporation, Mr. Toolson has also held various leadership positions within the recreational vehicle industry, including Family Motor Coach Association Commercial Council President from 1984 to 1993.

Outside of the recreational vehicle industry, Kay is an active local community member.  Presently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of McKenzie/Willamette Community Health Foundation in Springfield, Oregon and has served the Honorary Chair for the Relief Nursery, a Eugene, Oregon-based organization assisting families in need.

Mr. Toolson lives in Eugene, Oregon , with Judy, his high school sweetheart and wife of 36 years.  Kay is a Lifetime Sustaining Member of the Alumni Association and continues to be a strong supporter of Utah State University.

Athletic Director Resigns
USU Director of Athletics Rance Pugmire, announced his resignation Friday, April 2.  Retired USU Vice President Fred Hunsaker has been acting director since Pugmire’s leave began in February.  Hunsaker will continue in this capacity until a permanent replacement is found.

“Rance has made a significant contribution and clearly has the potential to play a role in the administration of intercollegiate athletics,” USU President Kermit Hall said in a recent press release.

A national search for a new director has begun.

Mission: A-Day
Spring has come to Logan once more, and along with it comes A-Day.  The Utah State Student Alumni Association will host "A-Day Week" from April 12 to the 16.  A-Day is a USU tradition, one day a year donated by all staff and students to work on some campus improvement.

An A-Day service project is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 13 from 11:30 am to 1 pm on the Taggart Student Center patio.  This year’s project will be the assembly of school kits for Cache Valley Head Start children.

Senior Celebration will be held Wednesday, April 14 from 7 pm -10 pm in the TSC.  Entertainment, prizes, and food will be part of the event.  Current graduates get in free.

1944On Friday, the actual A-Day celebration begins at 10 am on the Quad.  There will be booths featuring games, crafts and food, as well as live entertainment and a parachute ping pong drop.  Later that night, a benefit concert will be held with Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band performing at 7 pm at the TSC Stevenson Ballroom.  All proceeds will go to Brooke Jorgensen, a 10 year old River Heights Elementary Student with cerebral palsy.  The concert will be followed by a dance.  Finally, at midnight, the week ends with another Aggie tradition as students become “True Aggies” by kissing on the "A".

TSCBig Changes for Taggart Student Center
The Taggart Student Center is due for a remodeling this summer.  Recent pressure to make the TSC more open for students prompted the proposed changes.   The plan includes the demolition of the Cashiers Office to make room for a new student lounge.  Also, the Utah Statesman offices will be moved downstairs where the Bullpen is presently located.  In recent years, the Bullpen has faced diminishing use, prompting the change.

The modifications were unanimously approved by ASUSU as they passed $25,000 for the project.  Next, the plan goes to President Hall and the executive committee. Once approved, the remodeling is slated for completion by the middle of August.

Aggie Takes a Mission to "Mars"
USU student Jamon Nielson got the chance to spend two weeks on Mars… almost.  Nielson was selected to live life as a “Martianaut” and conduct research with USU technology while living in the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah.  During he two week “mission”, the six member crew lived in an 8-meter cylindrical shelter.  The only opportunity the crew had to leave the shelter was in space suits to conduct experiments and record data.  Nielson’s crewmates consisted of two women and three other men from areas including Oregon, Australia, Belgium, India, and Wales.

The purpose of the Mars Desert Research Station is to give participants a taste of astronaut life while testing out equipment in a realistic environment.   In the end, researchers hope to find out if an actual Mars mission is possible.

Nielson served as EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity) commander.  One of his responsibilities was to conduct experiments with Lada, a chamber that waters, measures, and even photographs the plants inside.  Nielson described Lada as “the most sophisticated pot holder you would ever see”.  Lada was developed at the Space Dynamics Lab, and USU has built four units, one of which is currently on the International Space Station.

If a mission to Mars does become a reality one day, Nielson hopes to be one of the lucky astronauts to make the trip.  He completed his master’s degree in physics and is working on a second bachelor’s in aviation technology.   Currently, he is working as a research assistant at the Space Dynamics Lab and plans to apply for the NASA astronaut corps next year.

To read Nielson’s complete report and find more information, visit www.marssociety.org/mdrs/index.asp.

Spring Comes to Campus
There’s an extra spring in my step as I waft out of my rapidly emptying classroom in the Ray B. West building. What could possibly be better than being done with school on a Friday? I’m greeted with the answer as I step outside. Quad

Winter’s memory is still fresh enough to make one forget that Spring has sprung. A gentle wave of warm breeze introduces itself as I start moving across the Quad. I’d almost forgotten that the sun visited this part of the country. Now it floods campus with light, held back only by the shadows of the trees and the aged buildings.

And I’m not the only one who sees the change. Students litter the Quad's awakening grass, eager to be outside without going numb. They flood the patio at the Student Center, milling about, trying to summon the motivation to get to class. But it’s not easy to sit inside once one knows what’s being missed.

I glance at the other liberated students, at the blossoms beginning to erupt on the trees by the Bookstore, at the blue sky stretching to the Wellsvilles, and at the “A” silently awaiting A-Day and True Aggie Night. I breathe deep and feel the smile spread across my face.

It’s good to be an Aggie.

Back to the Buzzer

On the Quad


Utah State University Alumni Relations sponsors many exciting events throughout the year. To keep informed about the most current ones, visit www.usu.edu/alumni/events.html often.



Coach Morrill Receives Contract Enhancement
After leading USU to a 25-4 season and the school’s first national ranking since 1978, Aggie head coach Stew Morrill received a contract enhancement, it was announced recently.

In six seasons at Utah State, Morrill’s overall record is 143-46 with five postseason appearances.   USU has three Big West titles and has won the Big West Tournament three times in Morrill’s tenure.  In 2001, the team won its first NCAA Tournament game since 1970 when the Aggies defeated Ohio State in the first round.

“When I came to Utah State, I thought this would probably be my last coaching job,” Morrill said.  “This gesture by Utah State makes me quite certain of that.  Loyalty is a two-way street and it is really nice when everyone involved understands that principle.”

Coach Morrill’s contract enhancement does not include any additional years.  Presently, he will remain as head coach through 2012.

Assistant Basketball Coach Headed to University of Utah
The University of Utah didn’t get Coach Morrill, but they didn’t walk away empty handed either.  Randy Rahe, Morrill’s top assistant, is leaving Utah State.   He accepted a position on the staff of new Utah head coach Ray Giacoletti.  Rahe was an assistant under Morrill for the past 13 seasons, seven at Colorado State and the last six at USU.

Rahe’s departure comes right after Morrill and his assistants received contract enhancements following the Aggies 25-4 season.  So far no replacement has been named.

Blue and White Game
The annual Blue and White football game is scheduled for Friday, April 16, in Romney Stadium. The game will kick-off at 6:30 pm and mark the official end of spring football 2004. The Blue and White game will provide a great opportunity to preview Coach Mick Dennehy’s squad as they prepare for their final year in the Sun Belt Conference. The spring game is open to all and admission is free.

In conjunction with the Blue and White game is the annual Football Alumni Golf Tournament on Saturday, April 17. The golf tournament will be held at Logan River Golf Course with registration starting at 8:00 am followed by a shotgun start at 9:00 am. Cost for the golf tournament is $75 per participant, which includes lunch at the course and a steak fry at Café Sabor at 4:00 pm. Those interested in playing in this year’s Football Alumni Golf Tournament can register by calling Vicki at (435) 797-1870.
New Turf for Romney Stadium
The Blue and White game on Friday, April 16, will signal the end of the natural grass playing surface inside Romney Stadium as construction crews begin installation of a new synthetic surface on April 20. The installation is scheduled to be completed by the end of June, far in advance of the Aggies’ home opener against Idaho on September 11, 2004.

For the first time in Utah State history, the football team will now be playing their home games on a surface other than natural grass. The new surface will be able to sustain large amounts of water and usage without affecting the playing surface. In addition, the new turf opens the door for the University to host more events inside Romney Stadium, vastly increasing the usage Northern Utah’s largest venue for seating capacity.

Check out utahstateaggies.com for the latest news and information about Aggie Athletics.

Travel Opportunities

China China
May 12-21, 2004 - (rescheduled from September 2003)

To find more information, visit www.usu.edu/alumni/china.html or contact Scott Olson at (435) 797-2055.

CruiseWestern Mediterranean Cruise
July 10-18, 2004
Enjoy nine days aboard the Splendor of the Seas and explore the exiting ports at Barcelona, Spain; Monte Carlo/Cannes, France; Florence/Pisa, Italy; Rome, Italy; Naples, Italy; and Valletta, Malta. Inside cabin prices begin at $2299.00 per person, departing from Salt Lake City.

London BridgeEngland and Scotland
October 21-29, 2004
Thrill to the sights and sounds of London and the surrounding area with this exciting package. Planned tours include Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Stratford Upon Avon, a night at the theatre and much more.  You may also extend your vacation with an optional tour in Scotland at the end  of our London adventure! Prices begin at $1369.00 (land only).

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