Aggie Insights E-newsletter
    VOLUME 7 | ISSUE 9 September 2009     

In This Issue



Event Listings







USU Alumni Spotlight - Blake Wright Blake Wright

Blake Wright discovered his passion in life at an early age. As a young boy growing up in Providence, UT, interesting and well-designed buildings and landscapes fascinated him. As he describes it, "I knew as early as elementary school that I wanted to be in the architecture business when I got older". After spending his youth attending Utah State basketball and football games with his parents, enrolling at USU after high school graduation was a natural choice for Blake. The closest curriculum to architecture offered at USU was Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP) found in the College of HASS. During his time at USU, Blake was a member of the student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and Sigma Landa Alpha Honor Society. Blake graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree in 1986.

Today, Blake is an established, award winning designer and prominent business professional. The current president of Architectural Design West, a Logan-based architectural, landscape architectural, planning and interior design firm, Blake got his start with the company as a USU undergraduate. Working part time for Architectural Design West  while going to school, helped Blake realize that he "had an interest in learning how the business was run and how it affected people". His experience at Architectural Design West, combined with the advice of two prominent Cache Valley business owners, led Blake to continue his USU education and graduate with a Master's degree in Business Administration in 1989.

In 1992, Blake became the head of the landscape architecture department at Design West. In this position, Blake has enjoyed being involved in many quality design projects. Several of these projects have received numerous awards, including the National Preservation Honor Award and Physical Fitness of Cities International Urban Design recognition, Utah Heritage Foundation Award, and Merit Awards by the United States Air Force Design Awards Program. Blake relates that the business is really about people, and that "working with such great people makes it easy to be optimistic about the future and easy to tackle the day’s challenges".  Before taking over as president of Design West, Blake served as the company's CFO from 2001 -2008. As a result of his impeccable design and business abilities, Blake was recently recognized as the 2009 CFO of the Year by Utah Business Magazine.

Utah State University has been a strong tradition in the Wright family. Blake's father and his five siblings are all USU graduates. Blake maintains his ties to the university, serving as an adjunct professor in the LAEP Department. Blake and his wife Kathy are the parent of three beautiful daughters. The family resides in River Heights, UT. An active community member, Blake currently sits on the River Heights City Council in addition to serving in his church community. He and his wife enjoy supporting their daughters and attending their numerous athletic, music, and academic activities.

Someone once pointed out to Blake that with his two degrees, if anybody should be able to get money to grow on trees, it would be him. While he says he's still trying to figure that one out, Blake Wright is definitely a man to be noticed.

Spotlight by Clarissa Fidler

Nominate an Alumni Spotlight

Back to Top


Homecoming 2009 Honorees

Homecoming 2009 Honorees

The USU Alumni Association is pleased to honor the following individuals as honorees for Homecoming 2009:

Eric Hipple - Grand Marshal

Gary & Karen Black - Alumni of the Year

Charisse Bremond Weaver - Distinguished Young Alumna of the Year

Click on the names above for full bios and to learn more about this year's honorees.

Back to Top


The New Official MasterCard of Utah State University - 2% Cash Back Rewards
Official Mastercard of Utah State

Receive 2% cash back rewards when you use your Official USU MasterCard for purchases on athletics game tickets, donations to the Big Blue Scholarship Fund and activities for Homecoming!  That’s double the points just for supporting the Aggies.

Don’t forget to bring your new USU MasterCard and get double points at most locations on campus (Athletics Ticket Office, USU Theatre Ticket Office, Aggie Ice Cream, USU Bookstore, USU Dining Services, and more!)

Your new USU Rewards MasterCard is available exclusively through the Alumni Association. A percentage of all your purchase comes back to USU and fund Alumni Association activities such as Homecoming, chapter events, student scholarships and more!  

Click here for details.

Back to Top


Featured Alumni Benefit- Merrill-Cazier Library ResourcesFeatured Benefit

There are a variety of benefits available to all USU Alumni. Each month we will be featuring a specific benefit for all former Aggies. For the month of September, discover the benefits of the Merill-Cazier Library Resources.

Do you remember spending hours in the library as a student? Do you miss researching and discovering more about intriguing subjects? Although you've graduated, it doesn't mean you can't use the many resources provided by the Merrill-Cazier Library.

Alumni may come to the on-campus library and access any of the 250 databases and 40,000 electronic journals from one of several public terminals on the first floor, near the Information desk. Although remote access to electronic products is unavailable to alumni and the public, everyone is welcome to access the library online catalog. USU Alumni who set up a library account are allowed to check out books for three weeks.

The Merrill-Cazier Library also maintains links to many Open Access journals and databases. Click here to search these free databases.

Back to Top


Alumni Calendar Photo Contest Alumni Calendar

Send us your photos of campus and Cache Valley for consideration in the 2010 Alumni Calendar. A negative or electronic file of at least 300 dpi and 10" x 10" must be available, but does not need to be sent with submission. Submissions by mail or email are acceptable.

The deadline for entry is September 30, 2009.

Mail your submissions to:

Utah State University Alumni Association
7500 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-7500

E-mail your submissions to:

Back to Top


Alumni Social Networking Opportunities

Keep in touch and up-to-date with the latest, official news from your Utah State Alumni Association on the following social networking services:

  Find us on Facebook
  Follow us on Twitter
  Find us on Linked in
  Connect with USU inCircle

Back to Top



Alumni Legacy Nonresident Scholarship Aggie Legacy Nonresident Scholarship

Keep the tradition alive. Did you earn a degree from USU? You can now send your child to Utah State and their out-of-state tuition will be waived. Stay connected through the next generation of Aggies. We'd love to have them here!

To qualify for the Alumni Legacy Nonresident Scholarship, a future Aggie must:

* Be admitted to Utah State University.
* Have at least one parent who earned an associate degree or higher from Utah State University. (Verification required.)
* Enroll at USU as a first-time student to the Utah system of higher education.

Time spent in Utah on the Alumni Legacy Nonresident Scholarship cannot be counted towards establishing resident student status. However, the waiver will be available to your student until he or she completes their degree(s). Click here to read more about the legislation that allows USU to provide this great opportunity.

If you have any questions, please email Corey Mikkelsen at or call the Admissions office at (800) 488-8108.

USU is excited to offer this opportunity for alumni to keep the great Aggie Tradition alive!

Back to Top


Back to the Buzzer


1971 Aggie Football Tri-Captains: Bill Dunstan, Dale Washburn, and John Forzani.

Buzzers are now available online! Click here to go to the Buzzer Yearbooks Collection at the USU Digital Library.

Back to Top


Alumni Pre-Game Parties USU Football Pregame Parties

Join fellow alumni and friends for the upcoming Football Pre-Game Parties sponsored by the Alumni Association:

* Saturday, September 12th- USU vs. Texas A&M

* Friday, October 2nd- USU vs. BYU

Check the Pre-Game/Tipoff Parties page for more details!

Back to Top


USU Homecoming 2009

Homecoming 2009

Utah State's Homecoming weekend is September 24-26th. Check the Homecoming website for the complete schedule. There will be specific activities and events for Young Alumni, Silver Aggies, and Golden Aggies.

Registration for events is now OPEN! Click here to register online.

The Homecoming football game will be played against Southern Utah on Saturday, September 26th at 6pm at Romney Stadium.

Back to Top


USU Soccer Pre-Game Party USUSoccer Pre-Game Party

Join Aggie Soccer fans on September 24th from 5:30 - 6:30 pm at Rio Tinto Stadium for a pre-game party!

The event is FREE for everyone! The party will be held in the west parking lot of Rio Tinto Stadium. There will be Aggie Ice Cream and pom poms given out.

Game time is 7:00 pm. Utah State will be playing the University of Utah.

Tickets are $5. Kids who wear soccer jerseys get in free to the game.

Photo by Jeffrey Allred, Desert News

Back to Top



Denver Chapter Event - Golf, Costa Vida, & Aggie Football Denver Chapter Event

Join fellow Denver Aggies on October 2, 2009 for an afternoon of fun activities and Aggie football!

Activities include:

3:00 pm USU Alumni Par 3 Shootout at South Suburban Golf Course in Highlands Ranch

6:00 pm Pre-Game Party at Costa Vida

7:00 pm Watch the USU vs. BYU football game at Costa Vida

Check the chapter website for more information.

Back to Top


Weber County Chapter Event - Dinner at Sonora Grill Weber County Chapter Event

On October 6, 2009 at 6:00pm, join Weber County Aggies and friends for dinner at The Sonora Grill with USU Athletics Director Scott Barnes and USU Basketball Coach Stew Morrill.

The Sonora Grill is located at 2310 Kiesel Avenue Ogden, UT 84401, phone: (801) 393-1999.

Check the chapter website for more information.

Back to Top



Alumni in the Arts - Alex Nabaum Alex Nabaum

Most carnival-goers pay little attention to that ubiquitous staple, the caricature artist, but he’s there — perched atop an unstable folding chair, exaggerating facial features for a marginal fee. At least, he was there. Now, Alex Nabaum is in just about every major magazine in the country.

At 16, when his high school art department in Colorado was asked by its rival school for volunteers to draw caricatures at an after-prom party, Nabaum rose to the challenge, despite having no such experience.

“The drawings were probably pretty bad, but it gave me a shot of confidence,” he recalls.

With that confidence, he gathered a portfolio and applied for work at “the only place I knew where a caricature artist could get a job” — Denver’s Casa Bonita, what he terms as a “gigantic restaurant/tourist trap/theme park.”

Upon arrival for his interview, Nabaum met a perturbed manager who had fired the previous artist just minutes before, for cheating on his commission. After thumbing through the rattled youth’s portfolio, and upon finding out that he was religious, the interviewer told him, “Good. Can you start tomorrow?”

“After my first night drawing there, I realized maybe I could make a living someday as an artist,” Nabaum says.

Throughout high school, he drew at fairs, festivals and rodeos all over the west, in addition to his work at Casa Bonita. As a senior, he applied to a number of colleges, and even though he was offered scholarships to BYU and elsewhere, he chose USU for its superior arts program, and for what seemed like “a good fit.” It was. And as a student in Logan, drawing caricatures helped pay his tuition.

Even before his graduation from Utah State, Nabaum was already in the midst of building and diversifying his portfolio as a newspaper illustrator. Once Newsweek purchased one of his pieces, he says, “the work snowballed.” Since then, he has illustrated for TIME, The New York Times, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN, The Economist, Popular Science and many more publications of equal stature. Maybe caricaturists deserve more attention after all.


Photo from Utah State Today

Story by Jeff Carr

Back to Top


College of HASS Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series Returns Nate Alder

Last year, the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Utah State University established its Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series with guests who represent the college’s diverse departments and programs who return to campus to speak about their professional expertise and experiences.

The series returns for the 2009-10 academic year with it first guest, attorney Nathan “Nate” Alder, Friday, Sept. 11. The hour-long presentation begins at 11:30 a.m. at the David B. Haight Alumni Center at USU (approximately 650 N. 800 East, Logan). Hourly guest parking is available at the Aggie Terrace, adjacent to the Alumni Center. Alder’s presentation is free and all are invited, especially HASS students. A light lunch is provided.

Established by HASS Dean Yolanda Flores Niemann, the intent of the series is to bring distinguished graduates back to campus to reflect on their education at USU and how it impacted their careers.


Photo from Utah State Today

Back to Top


USU Greats- Clint McKee USU Greats - Clint McKee

Clint McKee’s unconventional path to medical school included several unplanned detours, a flat tire or two and more than a few potholes. Before earning his undergraduate biology degree in 2005 at Utah State University’s Uintah Basin Campus, he nearly shelved his dream of becoming a physician. But encouragement from his professors, coupled with McKee’s gritty tenacity and a few bane-turned-blessing moments, fueled his passion toward what he considers his true calling.

“I decided at age 14 that I wanted to become a doctor,” says McKee, one of 12 children raised on a family dairy farm in eastern Utah. “But I’d never met anyone who went to med school and had no idea what it took to get there.”

Now in his second year of medical school at the University of Utah, the 30-year-old husband and father of five revels in opportunities to immerse himself in the study of the intricacies and nuances of the human body.


Back to Top


Travel Opportunities


Hawaii Fall Trip: November 3-9, 2009 Hawaii Fall Trip

Join other Aggies in Oahu for fun in the sun and football! The base price of $1,175.00 (plus tax) includes:

* Round-trip airfare to Honolulu from Salt Lake City

* 5-nights of accommodation at the Hilton Hawaiian Village

* Round trip transfers between the airport and hotel

Airline reservations are very limited. Make reservations today by calling Columbus Travel at 800-373-3328 ext. 2015.

Click here to download complete trip details.


Cathedrals of Great Britain with Dr. Craig Jessop: June 2010 Cathedrals of Great Britain with Dr. Craig Jessop

Join Dr. Craig Jessop as he leads USU Alumni through a musical heritage tour of Britain's greatest cathedrals. Visit Cambridge, Westminster Abbey, Canterbury, and more for choral Evensong, plus experience traditional mystical sites.

More details to come!

Back to Top


Class Notes Class Notes

Read the Class Notes to find out what's going on in the lives of successful Aggie Alumni everywhere!

Have you received a recent promotion, been involved in a community event, or traveled to an exotic destination? Do you ever wonder what other Aggies from your graduating class are up to?

Add your own Class Note!

Back to Top







Current Athletic Schedules

Click here for the current schedules for all Aggie athletics.

Click here to view the 2009 Football Media Guide.


USU Football Season Tickets On Sale Now!

Photo from Athletics website

Back to Top


USU Gymnastics Announces 2010 Schedule USU Gymnastics

Utah State head gymnastics coach Jeff Richards released the Aggies' 2010 schedule, which consists of 12 meets with five at home.

USU, which is entering its fifth season in the Western Athletic Conference, will face each of its five conference foes at least once, as well as each in-state opponent at least once. The Aggies' ledger opens with three meets on the road, but closes with the final two at home.

Utah State will face four teams ranked in the top 20 of last season's final Troester/Women's Gymnastics National Poll, in No. 3 Utah, No. 7 UCLA, No. 18 Denver and No. 20 Boise State. The Aggies will also face No. 23 Central Michigan and No. 27 San Jose State.

Click here for the complete schedule.


Photo from Athletics website

Back to Top


Men's Basketball Announces '09-'10 Schedule USU Men's Basketball

Utah State University's head men's basketball coach Stew Morrill announced Thursday the upcoming 2009-10 schedule as the Aggies will play a total of 31 games during the regular season, which includes six contests against in-state opponents and a minimum of 13 games against postseason teams from a year ago.

During the 2009-10 season, Utah State will play a school-record 18 games in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, a venue where it has registered consecutive 17-0 seasons during the last two years. Overall, the Aggies have posted an incredible 157-12 (.929) home record under Coach Morrill and currently owns the second-longest home winning streak in the nation with 34 straight wins which is a school record.

Utah State's non-conference schedule consists of seven games against postseason teams from a year ago as the Aggies will host Brigham Young, Morehead State, Saint Mary's and Weber State, and travel to Northeastern, Utah and Weber State. BYU, who will be making its first visit to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in four years, has played in the NCAA Tournament each of the last three seasons, while Morehead State and Utah also played in the Big Dance last season. Saint Mary's and Weber State both participated in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) a year ago, while Northeastern participated in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

Click here for the complete schedule.


Back to Top


Utah State Football Announces 2009 Captains2009 USU Football Captains

Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen announced the Aggies' 2009 captains on Monday, after a vote by the team.

All three of the defensive captains are seniors, while the offensive captains consist of a senior, a junior and a sophomore. Representing the defense will be the senior trio of safety James Brindley, linebacker Paul Igboeli and cornerback Kejon Murphy. The offensive captains are senior center Brennan McFadden, junior quarterback Diondre Borel and sophomore running back Robert Turbin.

"The team voted for their captains," Andersen said. "I think they did a good job of picking six quality student-athletes to be their captains."


Photo from Athletics website

Back to Top


Former Aggie Rob Myers Signs with Philadelphia Eagles Rob Myers

Former Utah State football standout Rob Myers has signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles and is expected to be in action during the Eagles' preseason game on Thursday night against the New England Patriots.

Myers, a tight end, originally signed a free agent deal with the New York Jets in April, but was released prior to their training camp.

As a junior in 2007, Myers had 21 receptions for 320 yards with three touchdowns, and led the nation's tight ends with 15.2 yards per catch. His season was highlighted by being named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week on Nov. 21, 2007 for his career-best outing of 117 yards on four catches with two TD's in USU's win at New Mexico State.


Photo from Athletics website

Back to Top


Click here to unsubscribe from the list.