Utah State University will honor three Salt Lake-area residents at a Founders Day program on Tuesday, March 10. Three others will also be honored.
The university will present its Distinguished Service Award to the Rev. France A. Davis, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church; Weston Hamilton, senior vice president of Zions Bank; and Durrell "Quig" Nielsen, coordinator of information for the LDS Church's Museum of Church History and Art.Awards also will be presented to Glenn J. Mecham, mayor of Ogden, and John Ralston, former football coach at USU.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award will go to Thelma Faylor Allison, retired head of the Home Economics Department at Boise State University. This award is the highest honor presented solely by the USU Alumni Association, according to director Jay Haws. The award recognizes extraordinary distinction and service.
The Distinguished Service Award goes to alumni and friends of USU whose attainments have brought distinction to themselves, credit to the university and real benefit to their fellow citizens, Haws said.
The Rev. Davis is chairman of the Utah Opportunities Industrialization Center and is involved with the Salt Lake NAACP and several community organizations. He has degrees from Laney College, Merritt College, University of California at Berkeley, Westminster College and University of Utah.
Hamilton has been vice president of Walker Bank. He has served on the board of several corporations and has his own firm representing many national companies in Utah. He organized both the Utah Council of Retailers and the Utah Retail Merchants Association and has spent considerable time promoting Utah in various ways. He attended USU two years.
Nielsen retired as a real estate agent. Following his graduation from the university, he was USU's first sports information director and was assistant to the commissioner of the Skyline athletic conference. An author, his books include "They Tell It Like It Was," a look at Utah athletes from 1920 to 1960, and "Temple Square, The Crown Jewel of the Mormons."
Mecham has served as assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Utah, has been a state court judge and chair of the board of Weber County Bar Legal Services. He has been president of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, chairman of the USU Board of Trustees and is now on the board of the USU Space Dynamics Laboratory.
Ralston was football coach at Utah State for four years, taking the Aggies to bowl games in 1960 and 1961. After leaving USU, he coached at Stanford, then was coach and general manager of the Denver Broncos. He also has served in coaching and administrative positions with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He is now coordinator of Operation Discovery, searching worldwide for talent for the World League of American Football.
Allison taught home economics for 34 years. She was head of the Home Economics Department at Boise State University, where she taught 27 years before retiring. She has bachelor's and master's degrees from Utah State where she was in Sorosis, Phi Upsilon Omicron and AWS Council. AT BSU, she was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 1972.