Homecoming Grand Marshals
Former first ladies of USU Billie Emert, Phyllis Hall, Joyce Albrecht
Billie Emert and George Emert
Billie served as first lady from 1992-2000
Billie, a native of Wyoming, called a Big Horn Mountain cabin home while her family moved often following her father’s military career. She met her husband, George Emert, in Okinawa where he was regrouping between tours to Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Two years later they were married after Billie earned a bachelor’s degree with honor in mathematics from the University of Wyoming. In the years that followed she balanced supporting her husband’s career, motherhood in a family that grew to include four daughters, a career that involved software development at several university computing centers and was executive vice president of an agriculturally based scientific management company.
During her discretionary time Billie wrote unpublished novels for adolescents. She was a Mortar Board adviser at two universities, served on the board for the Sunshine Terrace Foundation in Cache Valley, and served as president of the spousal group in NASULGC (the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges). In 2002 George and Billie were recognized by USU when the 500-seat auditorium in the Eccles Science Learning Center was named in their honor. Currently Billie is working on a book entitled What Gramby Wants You To Know Before She Leaves Her Body that will have a publishing run of ten copies, one for each grandchild.
Phyllis Hall and Kermit Hall
Phyllis served as first lady from 2000-2005
Phyllis Hall is honored to be part of USU’s celebration of the Year of the Woman. Phyllis grew up on Akron, Ohio and attended the University of Akron where she met her husband, Kermit, on the eve of graduation. Kermit went on to graduate school at Syracuse University and Phyllis began her teaching career, which would extend to thirty-four years.
Along the way, she studied library science at Peabody College and had the rewards of a dual career working with children as a classroom teacher and a school librarian. Phyllis also worked as a Children's Librarian with the Detroit Public Library. The rewards and challenges of these roles were many, of which she appreciates each and every one.
While living in Logan, Phyllis served on the Boards of the Sunshine Terrace Foundation and the Cache Valley Center for the Arts. “How fondly I recall tailgate parties on the large back patio and special dinner in the elegant dining room of the President’s Home,” Phyllis says. “Living with us were feline litter mates, Harry and Bess, we adopted from the Salt Lake City animal shelter.”
After Kermit's death, Phyllis moved back to Ohio to be close to her siblings. In recent years, Phyllis has tutored GED students, served several terms on the Board of her church, and chaired committees in the retirement community to which she moved in 2009.
Joyce Albrecht and Stan Albrecht
Joyce served as first lady from 2005-2016
Joyce Albrecht grew up on a dairy farm in Midway, Utah and is proud to be a farmer’s daughter. Her parents have instilled in her an ethic of hard work, the desire to help others and pursue her dreams.
The privilege of going to college changed Joyce’s life. It opened up doors and gave her the opportunity to begin a 45-year career in higher education administration at three different universities and was fortunate to have wonderful teachers, mentors, bosses, and trusted colleagues to help her succeed. The highlight of her career, however, was the opportunity to use her fundraising experience to assist Dean Craig Jessop in building the foundation for the new Caine College of the Arts. Joyce had the great pleasure of working with generous benefactors that provided resources for a new performance hall, undergraduate and graduate scholarships, an endowed resident quartet, a remodeled fine art center, and ongoing program support for theatre, art, and music.
When Joyce married her husband, Stan, he did not pledge riches, only a life that would be interesting, and on that promise, he has delivered. Being USU’s First Lady from 2005 to 2016 was the greatest honor of her life. The opportunity to travel the globe and reconnect with distinguished alumni, to share her homemade brownies and Aggie ice cream with extremely bright and talented students, to host events at the president’s home, and to cheer on our outstanding athletic teams gave her many special memories that will last a lifetime.
Over the years, Joyce has had many life-enriching experiences serving as a volunteer board member for the American Cancer Society, Sunshine Terrace Foundation, Cache Valley Center for the Arts, and Logan Regional Hospital. Joyce has also provided administrative oversight for the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters for fifteen years and served as president of the Council of Presidents’/Chancellors’ Spouses of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.
Joyce is loving the freedom, enjoyment, and relaxation of retirement. She now has time to build special memories with their 7 children, 14 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren and can help Stan manage his herd of Buelingo cows and go fishing, to which Joyce says, “in those quiet moments, I can reflect on many fond memories and watch with great pride the future successes of my beloved USU.”
Alumna of the Year
Becky Andrews, BS ’87 MS ‘97
Logan, Utah native, Becky Andrews met her husband, Steve Andrews, her freshman year at Utah State University. That same year Becky was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition. She graduated with a B.S. Degree in Information Systems four years later with the addition of two children and future Aggies – Natalie and Kendall. Ten years later, while her vision continued to decline, Becky returned to Utah State University to complete her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling just before going to Guide Dogs for the Blind to receive her first guide dog, Pantera.
She then completed further training to become a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and in 2006 Steve and Becky founded Resilient Solutions, Inc. an individual, marital and family counseling center in Bountiful, Utah. With fourteen therapists, this agency serves many families in the Davis County area and beyond.
They established a nonprofit Oasis Center for Hope to further assist and empower individuals, families, and communities experiencing loss. Through this nonprofit- Becky has organized and facilitated retreats-Daring to Own Your Story™ for women; Mother’s Day Lunches for women who have had a child die, education to schools and communities and offered support, connection and hope to many.
Becky loves to run – as a blind runner she runs with a guide. She has run eight marathons including the Boston Marathon twice and the NYC Marathon. The beautiful Top of Utah Marathon in Cache Valley was her first marathon. Steve and Becky love to tandem cycle and have biked thousands of miles throughout the country.
Becky is a frequent keynote speaker and the author of the book: Look Up, Move Forward (my journey of losing my eyesight and finding my vision). Becky has been recognized as Wasatch Woman of the Year, National Mother of Achievement and last year as Ranier’s Wholesome Heroes.
Andrews met her husband at Utah State, so the fun times of meeting up between classes, dances, football and basketball games started her days as a USU Student with joy and laughter. She learned to work hard at USU, to struggle through adversity navigating her way through the loss of her eyesight. Her greatest joy is spending time with her family (all Utah State University graduates) and cheering on the Aggies. Becky says, “returning back to USU, no matter how long it’s been, feels like coming home.”
Young Alumna of the Year
Theresa Foxley, BA ’04
A Utah native, Ms. Foxley is passionate about promoting the Beehive State. She has served as EDCUtah’s President and C.E.O since 2017 and has helped usher in a new era that is highly focused on internal team culture, driving stakeholder value, and economic development preparedness.
A recovering attorney and self-described “deal junkie,” Theresa has enjoyed being part of Team Utah’s efforts to attract dozens of companies on expansion and relocation projects representing various industries throughout the state, including Goldman Sachs, Vista Outdoors, Stadler Rail, and Facebook.
Prior to joining EDCUtah Theresa was a senior leader at the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Earlier in her career, Theresa represented a diverse set of clients in private legal practice on a multitude of general corporate and financial matters.
Theresa lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and son. They love spending time outdoors together with their Bernese mountain dog.