An annual honor given to a graduate of Snow College who inspires excellence in others
by serving as a role model and has demonstrated significant commitment, career contributions,
and community impact. This article can be found in the Alumni Magazine – Fall.
Nominate your fellow classmates for the Snow College Distinguished Alumnus Award. Do you know someone you feel is a good candidate? Nominate someone today! (Deadline is April 30th of each year.)
Last year's awards were presented during the Homecoming game on October 7, 2017.
As a Snow College student, 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Randy Cox said his academic record really had two phases: the time he spent on campus before his LDS mission and the time after his mission. At age 17, he attended Snow College for one year before his mission. During that year, Randy said he was not a very good student and that his first year’s grades are proof! However, his phase two experience was very different, and so were his grades.
In addition to his post-mission maturity, Randy credits former Snow College business faculty member John McLain as playing an important roles in his academic success. He helped Randy figure out how to meet all of his degree requirements so he could successfully transfer to Brigham Young University a quarter sooner than he had planned. “John really helped me get through my business classes,” said Randy. “He was such a good mentor.”
Another faculty favorite of his was social studies professor Ralph Brenchley. “Ralph made history come alive,” he said. “I didn’t care for history in high school, but taking that U.S. history course from Ralph was incredible!” Randy said that he now prefers to listen to history books on tapes more than any other types of literature.
While attending Snow, Randy spent a lot of time at the LDS Institute, where he became pretty good at ping-pong. He said one of his favorite things to do on campus when he had a little extra time and money was to visit the student union and buy a “Snow Burger.”
Randy commuted to campus from his home in Fairview where he worked on the family farm. He was the youngest of six boys. He said his brothers, William, Woodell, Sam, Ron, and Eddie may have given him a rough time at home, but they definitely “had his back at school.” Randy said he learned a great deal from his older brothers and his parents.
“I learned how to get along with others and that home was a gathering place,” said Randy. He said that his brother, Eddie, was extremely influential in his life. “Eddie was my example,” he said. “His wisdom, counsel, and guidance helped me make wise choices.”
Randy graduated from North Sanpete High School where he played basketball, tennis, and baseball. He enjoyed playing all sports as a youth and still enjoys playing sports today. He exercises for one hour every day and served as a volunteer basketball coach at Bountiful High School for eight years. The varsity team won two state championships while Randy assisted. As sophomore head coach, his final three teams won 35 consecutive games.
After Snow College, Randy earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in business from Brigham Young University. He has spent the majority of his career in the brokerage industry. He was branch manager at Kidder, Peabody for 10 years and has managed investments for high-net-worth individuals and corporations since 1994. He is currently the managing director for investments at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, in Salt Lake City.
Randy is also a member of the Snow College Foundation Board, where he serves proudly with his brother Eddie. Randy is the immediate past chair of the board, a position he held for two years. Under Randy’s leadership, the Foundation Board grew in size and in its charitable support of the College. Randy’s leadership helped propel the Foundation beyond its $3 million fundraising goal for the new Robert M. and Joyce S. Graham Science Center, raising nearly $3.5 million in less than one year!
According to Randy, working on the science center campaign was his absolute favorite part of serving on the Foundation Board. He and his wife, Claudean, made one of the first leadership gifts to the campaign, which motivated a number of other large gifts. In Randy’s words, “The Graham Science Center will be a game changer for Snow College and students focused on STEM careers.”
In addition to his support of Snow College, Randy is also a longtime friend of Junior Achievement of Utah. He serves on the executive committee and board for the organization with some Utah’s most influential and respected business leaders and educators, all who come together to help support efforts to bring financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship to Utah’s students.
Randy is always humble and never seeks recognition for his contributions. He is an ardent supporter of Snow College and frequently tells of how his experiences at Snow College made a major difference in his life and professional accomplishments. He said, “A quality education is so important, and Snow College offers a personalized and caring environment for students.”
Claudean and Randy reside in Bountiful. They are the parents of five children: Ashley, Lindsey, Chelsea, Whitney, and Matthew. Although he lives on the Wasatch Front, his roots are truly in Sanpete County. He and his family return to Fairview each year for the July 24th celebration.
Randy believes that a positive attitude is one of the most important things a person can have. “There is just so much negativity out there,” he said. “If we can just look forward with enthusiasm, optimism, and hope, good things will happen.”
When Ted Olson says that he and his wife, Vickie, are “Badgers, through and through,” he means it. From their time as Snow College students, to Ted’s 42 years as a faculty member, to having all six of their children graduate from Snow, their love of Snow College is evident.