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2015 Homecoming Honorees

Grand Marshals
Ross & Kay Peterson

Mary Kay and Ross Peterson are both natives of Montpelier, Idaho, and graduates of USU. Their first home was, at the time, the new USU trailer court. After graduate school in Washington and three years teaching in Texas, they returned to USU in 1971 where Ross accepted a position in the history department. During their time in Logan, they created many enduring friendships. One of their favorite traditions is hosting a dinner each year for the student children and grandchildren of their friends and family.

Kay and Ross edited the independent quarterly journal, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, for five years and served as President and First Lady of Deep Springs College in California from 2004-2007.

Kay spent many years in the international sector of DeVere International, a division of Harris Research. Her editing skills have been utilized on all of Ross’s books and articles. She serves on the Board of Music Theater West and has served on many other community organizations.

Ross spent a decade as the head of the history department, is the founding director of the Mountain West Center, and served as Vice-President for University Advancement during its comprehensive campaign. He also chaired the Utah Humanities Council and the State Board of History. He has unsuccessfully retired from USU three times and has returned this fall to teach a history class.

Their three sons, Bret, Bart, and Fred are all USU graduates. They also have four grandchildren attending USU. From the Peterson’s perspective, their legacy is the students who have enriched their lives for the past forty-four years.

Alumnus of the Year
Clark & Jennifer Whitworth

Clark and Jennifer met in a statistics class at USU, fell in love and were married in 1981. Their love for USU began before they even attended the university through their parents who are also USU alumni. They are proud to be Aggies!

After graduating in three years from USU with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Clark began his career in New Orleans with the accounting firm of Peat Marwick, Mitchell & Co., where he took and passed the CPA exam. After returning to Salt Lake City, he built his career with the Larry H. Miller Group, working on special projects, which included financing the Delta Center (now Energy Solutions Arena). He was appointed as Chief Financial Officer in the early 1990s and was named as Chief Executive Officer of the Larry H. Miller Group this past spring. Clark leads more than 80 businesses, operating in 46 states, and employing nearly 10,000 people. He has served on the boards of several charities, and is involved with organizations working to better the community.

While at USU, Jennifer studied business administration. She has loved being a fulltime mother, and making her family a priority. She has worked with several nonprofit organizations, charities, and has been active in her community. She currently serves on the executive board of the Festival of Trees, a major fundraiser and community event benefiting Primary Children’s Medical Center.

Clark and Jennifer are the parents of five children, three of which have graduated from USU, and more to come! They are also the proud grandparents of five future Aggies and counting.

Young Alumnus of the Year
Brady & Andrea Murray

Having grown up in the shadows of Utah State University, Cache Valley natives Brady Murray and Andrea Allen Murray met, married and began their family while attending USU. Their appreciation for USU developed while pursuing their degrees. Upon graduation they felt a desire to pay forward the opportunities that were provided to them. They started small but made it a point to give to the university every year. These gifts have grown into an endowed scholarship that they established with the Huntsman School of Business.

Upon graduation in 2005 with a BS in Accounting, Brady entered the financial services industry. Brady is a Certified Financial Planner and is the President of MassMutual Intermountain West. He has been a member of the National Advisory Board for the Huntsman School of Business since 2009.

Andrea graduated in 2003 with a BS in Exercise Science. She delights in being able to be home raising the Murray’s four children, Brynlee, Nash, Ridge and Mason. She is active in all aspects of her family’s life and finds her greatest joy in being of service to them.

Since the birth of their son Nash, who has Down syndrome, both Brady and Andrea cherish the opportunities they have to be involved in the Down syndrome community. Brady and Andrea founded the non-profit organization RODS (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome). Currently, over 200 endurance athletes from around the world dedicate their racing efforts to help find loving homes for orphaned children who have Down syndrome. Because of their efforts, 17 orphaned children, and counting, now have families to call their own.