Six to be Honored at DSC's Centennial Commencement Ceremony Friday
|Friday, April 29th, 2011
Dixie State College of Utah will honor six Utah residents during the College's Centennial Commencement Exercises this Friday, May 6, at 2 p.m., in the Avenna Center Burns Arena.
As previously announced, Dixie State will confer an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree to Commencement speaker Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. DSC will also award an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities to retired business leader Monte Holm. In addition, retired Washington County Sheriff Kirk Smith, along with Dixie College Foundation Board members and Fire & Ice Gala organizers Dorothy Orton, Marcia Wade and Megan White, will be recognized as Distinguished Citizens for their exemplary service to the college and community.
In every life there are constants. For St. George resident Monte Holm, those constants are faith and family. Monte spent his early years working on a family farm where times were often difficult. This experience instilled in him a strong work ethic and desire to become successful in life. He left home and moved to St. George at age 16, working various jobs in the construction industry. At 17, he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and decided to serve a mission.
After completing his two-year mission in North Carolina, Monte discovered his career path - in the financial services industry – that would allow him to support his faith and his family, while achieving his goal of helping others with their financial and insurance needs. Monte began his career by building a successful financial services practice in Las Vegas and over the next three decades, his business expanded to include locations and associates throughout North America. As his business grew, so did his family. He and his wife Lisa have six children and six grandchildren.
In the early 1990s, Monte co-founded a financial services organization that would become World Financial Group, a company that helps families implement strategies to achieve financial independence. After successfully leading one of the company's two sales divisions, he was named president and CEO of U.S. and Canadian operations in 2005 and moved his family to Atlanta, Ga. During his tenure, Monte oversaw the opening of the company's affiliated investment advisory firm and expansion into China.
Monte transitioned from day-to-day management in mid-2008, desiring a return to St. George. He remains active in his company leadership roles as an executive vice chairman and is a member of the board of directors, a foundation board, and an affiliated reinsurance company board. Monte also serves as a member of the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College Foundation Board of Trustees. Most recently he co-authored (along with Hyrum Smith) the Legacy Planner, a guide to help people preserve their legacy for future generations.
This summer he will serve as president of the Columbia, South Carolina Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This three year calling will allow him to use the skills and experience gained from a lifetime as a leader, manager and organizer. He is honored to accept this honorary degree from Dixie State College.
Kirk Smith's law enforcement career spanned 33 years from January 1978, when he was sworn in as a member of the Utah Highway Patrol, through this past January when he retired as sheriff. He was elected as Washington County Sheriff in 1998, where he served three terms as the county's highest-ranking law enforcement official and had responsibility for 151 employees and 450 inmates at the Purgatory Correctional Facility. During his tenure as Sheriff, he faced several high profile challenges, including the incarceration and prosecution of Warren Jeffs in 2007, the 2005 Santa Clara River flooding, and the population explosion in Washington County.
Kirk enjoys sharing his law enforcement experience in the classroom. He is a POST Certified instructor at Weber State and DSC, where he has taught emergency vehicle operations, pursuit driving, and ethics in law enforcement.
Through the years, Kirk has been involved at Dixie State College in many settings. He is on the advisory committee for the College's Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) program, he helped facilitate the DSC adult education program for inmates at the Purgatory Correctional Facility, he was a volunteer statistician for the Dixie football team for eight years, and four of his children are graduates of Dixie State. Kirk's wife Joan is also a graduate and has worked at the College for 23 years in the public relations department. In addition, Kirk enjoyed his association with many DSC students when he served as Bishop of the College married student ward.
Kirk has received many honors and awards including Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Outstanding Police Officer of the Year, and Outstanding Utah Public Employee. He was awarded the Department of Public Safety Star for Valor, the Golden Beehive Award for recovering the most stolen vehicles in the state, and the Silver Beehive Award three times for recovering the most stolen vehicles in the region. He served on the Governor's DUI Commission, Washington County Drug Court, and on the boards of the Children's Justice Center, the Dove Center, and the Erin Kimball Foundation.
In 1966, Kirk enlisted in the United States Army and served two tours in the Republic of Vietnam from November 1967 through July of 1969. While in Vietnam he served in both the 101st Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group. He met his wife, Joan, at Brigham Young University. They have been married 38 years, and are the parents of five children and have nine grandchildren. Kirk and Joan lived in Santa Clara for 27 years, and have recently moved to Pine Valley.
Dorothy Grimshaw Orton was tutored in service growing up in the rural farmlands of Enoch, Utah. The sixth of nine children born to the late Henry and Hilda Grimshaw, she was raised in a tradition of service and instilled with a simple but enduring ethic to work tirelessly, love unconditionally, and serve quietly.
She has carried the mantle of her family's generosity and modesty into her adult life. Among her many other projects and positions, Dorothy has been an instrumental part of the Dixie College Foundation Board since 2000, and was a founding co-chairman of the Fire and Ice Gala which has raised funds for needs-based scholarships since 2005. She says of the thousands of hours she has volunteered in conjunction with the Fire and Ice Gala, her reward is knowing these scholarships benefit more than just the people who receive them but generations of their family to follow.
"Education changes people's lives," Dorothy says. "We can make a difference whoever and wherever we are. I'm constantly amazed by the generosity of this community when it comes to supporting education, and the recipients are so grateful that it is a joy to be part of this amazing event."
Dorothy also has served on the Washington County Fair Board, the Judicial Nominating Committee for the 5th District Court, Huntsman World Senior Games, and more times than she can count on PTA, including orchestrating epic Grad Nights for Dixie and Snow Canyon High. In addition, she has served faithfully in the auxiliaries of the LDS Church. In fact, she credits her calling as young women's president for truly educating her in service, leadership and the "Dixie Spirit." A calling she received just one week after moving to St. George for her husband's business. At the time, she was only 21 and had an infant daughter in tow.
"Service creates a love, and a bond to the community and people you serve," she adds. "Those opportunities have changed who I am as a person, and made me better for it."
Still, of all her titles and tasks, nothing has proved more important than carrying on the legacy of family unity she learned in her youth. She and her husband Ray are the parents of 5 children: Jennifer (Tyler) Wilkinson, Amber (Court) Empey, Natalie (Collins) Stuart, Derek, and Tom, and also boast 19 grandchildren.
When Dorothy is not staying up until 1:00 a.m., putting the last touches on an auction basket, she can most likely be found holding one of her renowned tea parties and sleepovers with her grandchildren, attending their games and concerts, hosting a pool party, or if she's lucky, hitting the road with Ray in the motor home for another cross country adventure.
Marcia Wade was born in Richfield, Utah, the fourth of five children. Her growing up years were spent in Monroe, Utah and Mesa, Ariz., enjoying small town freedoms and strong family traditions. Her parents taught their children the value of hard work and family fun. Reading the classics with her mother each night as a child created in Marcia a lifelong love of reading.
She received a bachelor's degree in education from Brigham Young University in 1968. While there she had an experience that made her want to "pay it forward." She worked while attending
college to pay for her education, but having a job was not allowed while student teaching. Marcia was going to quit student teaching and go back home to work full time for a semester, but a member of the community came forward and offered to pay for her schooling. His comment to her was, "You can pay me back by doing the same for someone else when you see a need."
Marcia married her sweetheart, Stephen Wade, a University of Utah graduate. She enjoyed teaching school in Jordan School District for a few years. She then chose to be a stay-at-home mom as their five children came along. During the children's school years, Marcia had a chance to be involved in PTA, tutoring programs, and mentoring programs.
Business brought the Wades to St. George in 1993, but the people are the reason they stayed. Both Marcia and Stephen have their hearts in Dixie. Marcia's opportunities to serve have included being the 1995-1996 "Lights for Life" Chairman for Dixie Regional Medical Center, serving on the Dove Center Board, the Dixie State College Art Board, and the St. George Art Museum Board, as well as Gala Chairman for the Jubilee of Trees. Her varied interests have given her a chance to reach out. She enjoyed working with the Woodward School Restoration, the American Cancer Society and the St. George Musical Theater. She is proud to serve on the Board of The Wade Family Foundation – employees and family working together with the community to help provide solutions for needs.
Family and faith come first in her life. Marcia feels these two elements have created her value system and priorities. Serving in her church has been important to her and her family. She and Stephen have been married for 38 years. Their children – Tyler (Alaina), Corbin, C.J. (Sheena), Sheridan (Josh) Harris, and Adam – all reside in St. George and 12 of their 13 grandchildren are here, making life busy and wonderful.
Marcia has served on the Dixie College Foundation Board since 1995. She has loved participating in the growth of Dixie State College. Seven years ago the Dixie College Foundation held their first annual Fire & Ice Gala. Through Fire and Ice, businesses and individuals in the community work together, providing needs-based scholarships and making dreams a reality for so many. Lives are literally changed. Marcia knows from her own experience in college, that one person reaching out does make a difference. This is an opportunity to help, where there is a need. Being a part of Fire and Ice is her chance to "pay it forward."
Megan White has always called southern Utah home. She was raised in New Harmony and graduated from Cedar High School. Upon graduating, she attended the University of Utah before deciding to attend school to become a hair dresser. In 1996, she met her husband Nate and they were married in the St. George Temple. The couple made their home in Kanab for the next nine years, while Nate worked for Stampin' Up!, and Megan owned a salon. During this time Megan was blessed with four children (Tanner, age 13; Cameron, age 11; Zachary, age 10; and Olivia, age 9). In 2004, the family moved to St. George so that Nate could complete his Bachelor's degree at Dixie State College.
A year earlier, in 2003, Megan had been asked to join the Dixie College Foundation Board. In her early involvement, she presented an idea that the Foundation host a gala fundraising event. This idea had come from attending a similar event with another foundation with which she serves. For the next five years, Megan served as the chair of the annual Fire & Ice fundraiser; working tirelessly to organize every aspect of the event and ensure its success - although she'll be the first to admit that the event would not be successful without the hard work of others who are equally as committed.
When the White family moved north five years ago, she continued her commitment long distance. Even though she doesn't live as close as she once did, Megan can't imagine not being involved with the Foundation Board and Dixie State College. The work the Board does, in providing needs-based scholarships, is both rewarding and fulfilling. Megan is deeply touched every time she hears the stories of those who receive the scholarships and feels very grateful for the opportunity to be involved in doing something that makes such a significant difference in their lives.
Megan is committed to serving others and has devoted countless hours to the community, PTA, and schools where her children attend; she has also served as president and member of the Sterling and Shelli Gardner Family Foundation. Deeply touched by the reports she heard from earthquake-stricken Haiti, she spent a week helping to build an orphanage there last year. She is always looking for ways to reach out to others.
That's the thing Megan loves about Dixie - the way the college and community support each other. As the saying goes, "Once you get a little of that red, Dixie dirt in your shoes you never get rid of it." No matter where she lives, Megan will always be a Dixie girl at heart and she feels honored to be a part of the Dixie State College family.
For more DSC Commencement information, please visit www.dixie.edu/commencement.
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