Emma Lou Thayne and Stephen M. Studdert will be honored at the annual People of Vision dinner Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the Salt Lake Marriott Hotel.
The award is given to "individuals who have had the vision to make ours a better place to live," according to Colleen Malouf of Prevent Blindness Utah, the local affiliate of the National Society to Prevent Blindness.Thayne is a noted author, poet, teacher, peacemaker and athlete. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Utah and later completed a master of arts degree in creative writing there, as well.
She and husband Melvin Thayne have five daughters and 18 grandchildren.
She has held 10 professional positions from part-time associate instructor in English at the U. to intercollegiate women's tennis coach, freelance screenwriter at Brigham Young University's film department and is a former member of the Deseret News board of directors. She has had 10 major publications, including a novel, wrote a nonfiction book with her daughter called, "Hope and Recovery: A Mother-Daughter Story About Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia and Manic Depression", and has published monographs, monthlies, quarterlies and anthologies.
Studdert is chief executive officer of Studdert Companies, an international banking firm. He is also founder and chairman of Fonix Corporation.
He graduated from Brigham Young University, a former elected member of the Bountiful City Council and a past Jaycee president. He has been a stake president twice for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Studdert first founded a commercial bank in 1983 and has served in numerous corporate director positions. For nine years he has been chairman or director of the $16 billion, nine-state Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. He was also a White House advisor to presidents George Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. He also served as their personal representative across the United States and to more than 60 nations.
He was listed in Outstanding Young Men of America for 10 years and named Outstanding Young Man of Utah. Studdert and his wife Bonnie have six children and reside in Highland.
Proceeds from the dinner support the sight-saving programs of Prevent Blindness Utah. Since 1958, it has been providing comprehensive programs such as preschool vision screening for lazy-eye blindness, glaucoma testing, eye safety seminars, promotion of regular eye exams and education efforts on eye disease and treatment.
Half of all blindness is preventable, according to the society.