Thursday, Aug. 06, 2009
The Utah State University Alumni Association presented Larry and Bonnie Smith a 2009 USU Alumni Merit Citation for their work in promoting the arts and inspiring others through music. Fittingly, the award was presented at the final concert of the summer season presented by the USU Alumni Band. The Smiths were featured performers on the program.
While Larry was attending USU, he was a founding member of the Scotsmen Big Band, which he led for two years. After graduating from Utah State in 1959, he married Bonnie Baird, a 1984 USU alumni. Together they dedicated their life to music and enriching the lives around them.
After college, Larry taught music in Star Valley, Wyo., for two years, sharing his love for music with his students. He then was promoted to band director at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden for four years. In 1966, Larry was invited to return to USU to join the faculty of the music department. Even after retirement in 2003, Larry continued to share the beauty of music in the valley by founding the new Jazz Kicks Big Band.
While in Logan, Bonnie founded the program “An Afternoon of Jazz” at the Sunshine Terrace Adult Day Center. Larry played music weekly at the event for many years.
“For more than 50 years, Larry and Bonnie filled people’s hearts with music everywhere they went,” the merit citation reads.
“The Smiths have always loved all music and were an active force in sharing that love with all who surrounded them,” said Patty Halaufia, executive director of alumni relations at USU. “Larry and Bonnie Smith are a true definition of achievement and contribution to the field of music in the Intermountain West.”
Larry and Bonnie have four children and 16 grandchildren.
Alumni Merit Citations are given to those who exhibit excellence in their field, including individual achievements and contributions to those around them.
Contact: Patty Halaufia, 435-797-2053, firstname.lastname@example.org