In other news, it was Founder's Day this last week. What is Founder's Day? you ask? It's the commemoration of the founding of the University of Utah, which was founded on February 28th, 1850. This year was the 161st anniversary of that founding. The Alumni Association holds a Founder's Day dinner every year in honor of this blessed event. This is the greatest night of the year. The dinner is usually at one of the Americas, either Little or Grand, they honor outstanding alumni and honorary distinguished alumni, cool and famous people that have graduated from the U. come to the dinner, they award the Founder's Day scholarship to a deserving student... it is all around a great night.
This year, one of the alumni being honored was Senator Bob Bennett. He is a "Distinguished Scholar" in the Hinckley Institute of Politics now that he's completed his tenure in the Senate, so she came and spoke to some of us students at a lunch on Wednesday. Instead of getting up and rambling on about his political beliefs, Senator Bennett opened the floor to questions from us. It was neat to hear this alumni talk about Utah 60 years ago, before the age of computers, when tenured professors were the only ones who taught classes. It was enlightening to hear him speak on politics, call Bill Clinton the best politician he's ever met. He is a great man and I truly believe that he's always tried to make the best decisions for Utah while in the Senate.
Thursday night was the actual Founder's Day celebration at Little America. Kasi and Becky came and picked me up and we went to the hotel. Waiting for the elevator in the parking garage, we realized President Thomas Monson was standing there with a small group of people. He was so nice, he let all of us get on the elevator first, and held the door so we could all get off. The funniest part is, I went to lunch with my parents a few weeks ago at Little America, and when we were leaving, we say President Monson waiting for the elevator in the parking garage when we left.
The dinner was fabulous- petite filet mingnon, salmon, fresh green beans and new potatoes- and the alumni honored were incredible. Besides Senator Bennett, Fred Lampropolous was honored, Robert Gay was honored ("I startted college at BYU and immediately transferred to Utah."), and Dr. Adams, who was a VP at Utah and really furthered the cause for black women to be able to get an education. The honorary alumni honored were Bill and Gene England, of England Trucking, which made one billion dollars last year. All the stories of the alumni were inspiring, and as I sat at that table, freezing because I wasn't wearing a sweater over my dress, I thought to myself, "I hope I do great things with my life so that one day, I can be the distinguished alumna being honored at Founder's Day." After the dinner, as SAB was handing out favors to the attendees, my friend Dan Brinton told me he thought the same thing. Perhaps one day, we'll be honored at Founder's Day together, Dan.
The worst part of the evening though was at the end, when the members of Student Alumni Board who had attended the dinner were standing around in the foyer of the Grand Ballroom, refusing to leave because many of us were graduating seniors, and this was our last Founder's Day as a student. It was sad, and for the very first time this school year, I was sad about graduating. The very best thing, though, was on Wednesday, when John Fackler, SAB Advisor, told me the letter of recommendation he wrote me for Beehive Honors Society was the easiest and saddest letter he'd ever had to write. When I asked him why, he told me "It was the easiest because I have so many great things to say about you. It was the saddest because I realized you're graduating." Thanks John!
For now, I just need to focus on graduating, getting a kidney, and writing my first best-selling book. Graduation is in less than 8 weeks. My announcements came in the mail already, I've finished up all my midterms, and there is only 7 more weeks of class. And then I can begin work on my life goal of becoming a Distinguished Alumna of the University of Utah.