BYU will honor five alumni and supporters of BYU during Homecoming 2006 for making a significant impact in the lives of others.
Distinguished Service Awards, for outstanding service in a profession, community, church, or nation, will be given to Mariann Richards Adams (BS ’82), Douglas L. Packer (BA ’76), and L. Douglas Smoot (BS ’57). Diana Mae Daniels Wade (BS ’59) will receive the Service to Family Award, given for outstanding service to families, whether in one’s own home, community, or nation. Franklin T. Ferguson will receive the Honorary Alumni Award for his significant service to the university.
The Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy galvanized Adams. She established One-United Charity, a nonprofit organization, to express gratitude and sympathy to the families of fallen national heroes as well as to teach children about freedom and national unity. The organization sends care packages to next of kin of fallen soldiers, firefighters, and police officers and provides schools with educational packets. Included in the care package is a CD of songs created by Adams and her family about about loss and healing. (For more information, visit one-united.com.)
Packer, a physician, teacher, and scientist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is a leader in the investigation and management of heart-rhythm abnormalities. He was the first North American physician to perform a procedure that allows doctors to visualize a patient’s heart in real time through heart-mapping technology and virtual imagery. While at Duke University he received the Haskell Schiff Award in Internal Medicine, and he has been named to the Best Doctors in America list.
Smoot has been recognized as a national leader in the coal-combustion and gasification field, where he has received two national honors for his research. He is also known as the “man who saved Academy Square.” His leadership in restoring the Education Building of the old Brigham Young Academy—now the Provo City Library at Academy Square—provided vision and helped bring about vital fund-raising. Smoot is a grandson of Abraham O. Smoot, one of BYU’s founding fathers.
Wade, the mother of eight children, has a singular relationship with her youngest child, Cindy, who has excelled despite being born with Down’s syndrome. Through this child, Wade has become an activist for the rights of the handicapped. Wade has led chapters of the National Academy for Child Development in Utah and Hawaii. She is currently training to conduct assessments of children with development problems.
Ferguson, founding principal of FFKR Architects, has enjoyed a distinguished architectural career, having designed such landmark buildings as Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. His work for the Church and BYU has defined his career, and he has left a lasting mark on the university. Among other campus facilities, he has contributed to the design of the Tanner Building, the Jerusalem Center, the Harold B. Lee Library addition, the Joseph F. Smith Building, and the forthcoming Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center.