Once a T-Bird, Always a T-Bird

“This is a time when we welcome home those people that had one of the most transformative periods of their life as a student at Southern Utah University,” said President Scott Wyatt at the Homecoming Awards Banquet.

The Homecoming Awards Banquet acknowledges the accomplishments of former SUU students.

This year’s Young Alumnus award winner is Rhett Guter. A talented actor, dancer and choreographer based in New York. While at SUU, Guter studied theater and worked with the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Since graduating in 2010, Guter has spent time sharing his talents from coast to coast.

“Cedar City, SUU and the Utah Shakespeare Festival are very much home to me. It is not an unfamiliar place,” Guter said. “Just like when you go home, you feel supported and embraced and encouraged, and that, in a nutshell, is what SUU is to me.”

The Distinguished Service award was given to Kathryn Berg. Berg is known as one of the most admired administrators and faculty members in SUU history.

Berg is known for her work in the athletic and academic departments here at SUU. It was her task to develop the institution’s women’s intercollegiate athletic program and thus became the “founding pioneer” of Thunderbird women’s athletics, also helping to oversee SUU’s transition to NCAA Division I. She is a member of several halls of fame and aided in establishing the Utah Summer Games. In 2005, the SUU softball field was named in her honor, and the following year she received an honorary doctorate degree.

The Outstanding Alumnus Award was awarded to Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, a native of Congo who graduated from SUU in 1994. He has worked as an educator, author and independent journalist. Dizolele is a respected observer of world affairs, particularly in  his knowledge on sub-Saharan Africa. He is regularly used as a representative of the United States and United Nations.

Author of the forthcoming biography Mobutu: the Rise and Fall of the Leopard King, his analyses have been widely published.  A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, he holds two master’s degrees and speaks French, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and English.

This yearly event shows current students that hard work pays off and “once a T-Bird always a T-Bird”.

Story by: Cairo Cook
Photography Courtesy of: SUU Marketing Communication