Distinguished Alumnus Award

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.

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2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipients

Randy Kay Cox ('77)

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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.”


Ted and Vickie Olson ('69)

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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.

Ted Olson and Vickie Reid met in their senior year at Manti High School. They both enrolled at Snow College in the fall of 1967. Although Ted planned to pursue a career in math and science, he attended Snow College on a music scholarship and played the trumpet.

Ted and Vickie were the presidents of the Snow College chapters of Sigma Gamma Chi and Lambda Delta Sigma, the fraternity and sorority of the LDS church. They began dating during college and both graduated in 1969. Ted served an LDS mission to Taiwan, and they corresponded with each other while Vickie attended Utah State University and received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Ted and Vickie got married in 1972. Ted attended the University of Utah and Vickie taught fourth grade in what is now West Valley City. After completing his studies in mathematics and geophysics, Ted had an offer to work for Mobil Oil in Denver. However, he received a phone call that changed everything. Bart Nelson, his former teacher at Snow College and now his longtime best friend, called Ted and offered him a job. Ted accepted, and he and Vickie returned to Ephraim. For many years, Ted and Bart were the entire math department, and it was common for them to teach five classes a day. They also formed Majock Books to help the students save money on textbooks.  Ted taught at Snow College for 42 years before retiring in the spring of 2017.  He chaired several campus committees, and was Division Chairman for Science and Mathematics for seven years.   The Snow College Weather/Seismograph Station was installed by him in 1980 and he continues to operate it.

If Ted’s workload at Snow College was not enough to keep him busy, he has also participated in many organizations outside of the College. He has been involved in the power business since 1978 and has served on the board of directors for Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, the Intermountain Power Agency (IPA), and the now-defunct Intermountain Consumer Power Association. He also served on the Ephraim Power Board. He is currently the chairman of the IPA, which owns the Intermountain Power Project near Delta. For many years, IPA has contributed to engineering scholarships at schools with engineering programs, including Snow College.  IPA also made a contribution for the computer engineering lab in the new Science Center.

Ted was also instrumental in the restoration and development of the Great Basin Environmental Education Center (GBEEC), in Ephraim Canyon. He facilitated collaboration among the U.S. Forest Service, Ephraim City, and Snow College to transform the dilapidated station into a facility that serves as a learning and research center for courses, workshops, programs, and activities.

Ted is also involved in the LDS church and has served as both a bishop and a stake president in a Snow College Stake. He recently completed seven years of services as a counselor in the Mormon Miracle Pageant Presidency. He continues to play the trumpet, and performs each year in the community and College production of Handel’s Messiah.

Vickie’s unwavering support allowed Ted to realize his achievements. She stayed home and raised their six children: Wendy (Gillette) (’95), Jeffery (’99), Cameron (’01), Tyler (’02), Andrew (’04), and Dallin (’08). “She fulfilled the many roles of a mother all while instilling values of education, hard work, and service,” said her son Jeff.

VIckie returned to teaching in 1990. She taught sixth-grade reading, geography, English, and choir at Ephraim Middle School until her retirement in 2013. One of the highlights of her teaching career was leading the sixth-grade choir and candlelight choir, which were enjoyed by both students and their parents. Vickie’s musical talent extends beyond the classroom. She plays the organ and piano and, according to Ted, “she’s been accompanying everybody and everything for years and years and years.”

Vickie is also happy to open her home to visitors. With regard to his mother, Jeffery commented, “Family, friends, and even complete strangers stay in her home and always leave well-fed.  She has hosted everyone from poor students to LDS Church general authorities and everyone in between.”

While Vickie has never sought the spotlight, she actively serves the community from behind the scenes. She takes meals to those not feeling well, cleans homes, and visits the elderly. Jeff recalled how Vickie helped a sixth-grader living in unfortunate circumstances. She brought him clean clothes and helped him clean up before school, to build his confidence. In addition, she actively participates in community and civil service as a member of the Library Board. She is a member of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and has served in numerous leadership positions in the LDS church.

In recognition of their service to Snow College and the community, Ted and Vickie received the 2017 Snow College Distinguished Alumnus Award. They were honored during Snow College’s Homecoming activities on October 7.