Courage, compassion and commitment to community are just a few shared themes in the very different lives of three local women selected to receive the 1995 Cache Valley Over 65 Women of Achievement Award presented annually by the Utah State University Women's Center Advisory Board.
The board will also honor, with a special award, a man who supported the USU Women's Center from its founding more than two decades ago.Logan residents Rhea B. Bylund, Ruth Quayle Nielsen and Susan Sunada will be honored for their leadership and lifetime contributions in education, history, and community care at a program/re-ception Monday, April 24, at 7 p.m. at the David B. Haight Alumni Center on the USU campus. Former USU administrator Richard Swenson, also of Logan, will receive the 20-Year Celebration Recognition Award. Families and friends of the recipients are invited.
The Cache Valley Over 65 Women of Achievement Award recognizes the recipients' efforts to improve the quality of life in their communities and, in particular, for other women, said Janet Osborne, director of the USU Women's Center. Nominations are submitted by the community at large.
Byland has been enriching the lives of those around her for more than half a century. Byland, a teacher for nearly two decades and mother of eight grown children, now volunteers her energy, enthusiasm and talents with Hospice of Cache Valley and Bridgerland Literacy. She has also devoted hours to researching and preserving Cache Valley History.
Nielson, a volunteer member of the Sunshine Terrace Board of Directors for 15 years, has also made service to others the focus of her life. Her volunteer service with various organizations over the years, including the Red Cross, Utah Women's Legislative Council and Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, has set a worthy example for women of all ages and has inspired those fortunate enough to have worked with her.
Sunada has added new dimensions to the history of pioneers by painstakingly researching Japanese pioneers in the Intermountain West. Sunada, a persistent and precise historian and photojournalist, generously shares her extensive collection of Japanese pioneer history. She has placed many of her research notes in USU Special Collections and Archives to preserve them and allow easier access to other researchers.
Swenson, former USU vice provost, has been described as "an administrator with exceptional sensitivity, patience, and integrity," by the founders of the USU Women's Center. The women who met with Swenson more than two decades ago as advocates for salary equalization, affirmative action, and promotion of equal rights for women, as well as funding for the center, nominated him for this special award. They wanted to recognize his early and unwavering support for women's issues and his vital contributions to the welfare of women on the USU campus.