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U. to celebrate Founders Day, honor alumni

Published: Friday, Feb. 22 2013 11:20 a.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah Alumni Association will celebrate its founding by honoring the accomplishments of four outstanding alumni and an honorary alumnus.

The U.'s founding, which was on Feb. 28, 1850, will be commemorated at the annual Founders Day Banquet on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Little America Hotel, beginning with a reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m.

This year’s recipients of a Distinguished Alumni Award are: health care and public policy expert Robert P. Huefner, automotive dealer and philanthropist Mark C. Miller, historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, and businessman Norman H. Wesley. Philip G. McCarthey will receive the Honorary Alumnus Award, in recognition of his longtime support of the U.

The Alumni Association also will recognize Shirlee J. Draper, a U. student majoring in social work, as the 2013 Founders Day Scholarship recipient. The scholarship is awarded annually to a student who has overcome difficult circumstances or challenges.

Drape is studying through the U.’s distance program in St. George. She grew up in the Fundamentalist LDS Church community in Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah. She was married at a young age and had four children, including one with health challenges, and she eventually decided to take her children and leave the FLDS community. Draper hopes upon graduation to help other women and children in similar circumstances.

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