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June 2004

In This Issue:







USU Alumni Spotlight - Pam Coats - Executive Vice President of Creative Affairs, Walt Disney Feature Animation

PamPam Coats’ (Bachelor of Fine Arts ’80) career at The Walt Disney Company began in 1989 with an entry level position on The Rescuers Down Under.   During Rescuers she was promoted to associate production manager.  In 1991, she was promoted to the position of production manager for the Development Department.

For her first stint as producer, Coats transferred to Feature Animation Florida to oversee the Roger Rabbit short Trail Mix-Up, and in 1993 went on to produce the film Mulan, which was released in 1998.   She was also the executive producer on Runaway Brain (1995), a Mickey Mouse short.

Coats returned to California in 1998 and decided to go into an overhead position instead of a show specific position.  As the executive vice president of creative affairs for Walt Disney Feature Animation she is responsible for the care and feeding of all the stories in all their phases—from purchasing new material, developing in-house material, supporting and hiring key creative artists, above the line talent, etc.  As head of development she has overseen the release of feature films: Tarzan, Toy Story 2, Dinosaur, Emperor’s New Groove, Atlantis, Monsters Inc., Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Finding Nemo, Brother Bear and Home on the Range.  She has also overseen the release of animated shorts: John Henry, Destino and soon to be released, Lorenzo.

USU Advancement V.P. ResignsVP
Randy Talbot, vice president for University Advancement at USU, recently announced his resignation to become the executive director of the University of Florida’s alumni association.  Talbot is a native of Florida and formerly served as vice president of Constituent Programs at Florida State University.   He will officially leave his post on June 15.

For the past two years, Talbot has directed the university’s fund-raising and development efforts at Utah State.   In the past year alone, the university has seen contributions rise to $24 million, with a subsequent increase in donors and gifts.

Of his time at USU, Talbot said that he has developed “a fondness for the good people I have had the pleasure of working with”, and that his stay at USU has been “personally fulfilling and professionally rewarding.”

A search committee is being formed and hopes to have a replacement by October.

Old Lyric Repertory Company Announces Summer Season
LyricThe Old Lyric Repertory Company will mark the beginning of its summer season on June 17.  The Company will present four shows this season, which will run through August 7.  Moon Over Buffalo will be the summer opener, followed by Song of Singapore, Enchanted April, and The Hollow.

“We are excited about the talent we are lining up to produce this entertaining and substantial bill of plays, and look forward to a season of summer fun,” OLRC Artistic Director Colin Johnson said.  “As always, we look forward to seeing our loyal patrons and new faces this summer, joining us in the comfort of our refurbished theatre where you can see four hot shows in one cool place.”

Alumni Sustaining Members receive 2-for-1 tickets to all shows.  For details, visit the Old Lyric Repertory Company website at www.usu.edu/lyric or call (435) 797-0305.

New Dean Named for College of Education
StrongUtah State President Kermit Hall has named Dr. Carol Strong as interim dean for the College of Education and Human Services.  The position was left open by the departure of former dean, Gerry Giordano, who left to become provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at the University of North Florida.   He served as the college’s dean since 1998, helping the program become one of U.S. News and World Report ’s Top 50 colleges.

“My time in the College of Education and Human Services was a time of great professional growth and personal enrichment,” said Giordano.Gerry  “I will deeply miss the relationships, at many levels, that Ive made with stellar students, faculty, staff and alumni and friends of the college.”

Giordano’s successor, Dr. Strong, is the current associate dean of research and a trustee professor for the College of Education and Human Services.  She has taught at Utah State since 1976, holding numerous administrative and faculty positions.   In her time at USU, Strong has been nominated and received over 45 professional and student-sponsored honors, including Outstanding Scholar/Researcher of the Year, Eldon J. Gardner Professor of the Year, and Robin’s award recipient for Professor of the Year.  She will act as interim dean while a university search committee seeks a permanent replacement.

Alumni Association Awards New Scholarships
The Utah State University Alumni Association is pleased to announce the awarding of 61 new student scholarships for Fall 2004.  These scholarships are provided through the Aggie license plate program, Sustaining Memberships, and chapter sponsored events.

USU Meets Student Retention Goal
RetentionMore first-year students are returning for their sophomore year than in previous years, helping USU meet its retention goal set over two years ago.  With 75 percent of first-year students coming back this year, the school met its goal in half the predicted time.  This puts USU on par with peer institutions such as Penn State and the University of California-Davis.

USU President Kermit Hall attributes the success to the investment of millions of dollars to hire much needed faculty and advisors.  “By the time this hiring season is finished we’ll have added about 100 new faculty members and about ten new advisors and counselors,” explained Hall.

Still, there is more work to be done.   President Hall believes that the ideal retention rate for USU is somewhere in the low 80 percentile.

Back to the Buzzer
Widtsoe Hall


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.


Chapter News

Weber County Aggie Chapter
Car ShowThe Weber County Aggie Chapter presents its annual Aggie Car Show on Saturday, July 17, at Liberty Park in Ogden. As the kick-off event of the Ogden Pioneer Day Celebration, the Aggie Car Show generates scholarship funds each year for Weber County students wishing to attend Utah State University.   Most recently, three full-year tuition scholarships, valued at more than $10,000, were awarded.

FREE admittance for the public starts at 10:00 a.m.  The Elks and Does are offering a full breakfast and lunch at the park along with many other vendors.  Local talent arranged for by Meredith Ashton (Class of '72) will entertain throughout the show.  USU Associate Athletic Director Kevin Dustin, and WSU Coach Jerry Graybeal, are bringing athletes to challenge each other to a co-ed flag football game in the park.  There will also be great door prizes, famous Aggie ice cream, 4-H clowns, a petting zoo, and much more.Back to the future Car

Vendor applications are being accepted for businesses offering auto accessories, parts or services, as well as food vendors.  In addition, local car enthusiasts are invited to show their cars or trucks.  Pre-registration for vehicle entrance fee is $15 or $20 on the day of the event.  This price also includes rodeo tickets, Aggie ice cream, t-shirts, and dash plaques.

For applications and more information, call (801) 399-8200.

Utah County Aggie Chapter
The Utah County Aggie Chapter invites you to join them for the Aggie Family Scera Pool Party. Come enjoy a night of family fun at the Scera Pool in Orem on July 17 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. The cost is only $5.00 for the entire family. If you’re hungry, bring your own picnic dinner and enjoy Aggie ice cream free of charge. For more details, contact Jolene Bunnell at (801) 370-8473 or USU Alumni Relations at (800) 291-2586.


USU Track and Field Sends Two Athletes to NCAA ChampionshipsKelli
A pair of Aggies will be heading to Austin, Texas to represent USU Track and Field at the 2004 NCAA Championships.  Senior Ryan Bruhn and sophomore Kelli Burton will both be making their second consecutive trips to the national event.Ryan

Bruhn will be competing in the hammer throw, an event he placed 3rd in at NCAA West Regionals and 2nd at the Big West Championships.  Meanwhile, Burton will be throwing the discus, for which she placed 6th at NCAA Regionals and 3rd at the Big West Championships.  In the 2003 NCAA Championships, both Aggies placed 24th in their respective events.

The preliminary competitions will be held on June 9, with the finals on June 11.

Romney Stadium Webcam
For anyone interested in seeing how the construction on Romney Stadium is going, USU has installed a webcam in the stadium.  The camera is sponsored by the USU Athletics Department.  To see what’s going on visit: www.usu.edu/webcam/romney.cfm.

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

Travel Opportunities

CruiseWestern Mediterranean Cruise
July 10-18, 2004
Enjoy nine days aboard the Splendor of the Seas and explore the exciting 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).

Details of these exciting travel opportunities are in the process of being refined, so check next month's newsletter for more details:

Panama Canal Cruise
Winter 2005
A wonderful opportunity to cruise the Panama Canal and visit several surrounding ports.

Branson, Missouri
Spring 2005
Enjoy the unique experience of Branson with terrific entertainment provided by many legends of music, dance and comedy.