Alumni News

Five Alumni Chapters Shine


With year-round efforts that range from firesides and tailgates to fun runs and replenishment grants, the Boise Alumni Chapter has been honored with this year’s Spirit of the Y Award for chapter excellence from BYU’s Alumni Association. Four others from among the university’s 75 domestic chapters also received awards during BYU Alumni’s 2013 annual chapter conference.

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Decades after graduating from BYU, Boise Alumni Chapter chairs Tom and Joan Morris still know how to celebrate the Spirit of the Y. The Boise Chapter was joined by alumni chapters in California, Nebraska, and Washington, D.C., in receiving awards for excellence.

Roy A. Brinkerhoff (MFA ’84), assistant manager of Alumni Services, says the Boise Chapter chairs, Tom C. (BS ’79, JD ’82) and Joan Gabrielsen Morris (BS ’80), have run an excellent chapter for many years.

In 2012 Boise hosted the BYU Ballroom Dance Company, the Young Ambassadors, and former BYU basketball coach Frank Arnold. Chapter members held a tailgate party at Boise State University prior to the 2012 Boise State versus BYU football game, where they enjoyed visits from President Cecil O. Samuelson, athletic director Tom A. Holmoe (BS ’83, MS ’95), the BYU cheer squad, and Cosmo. They also coordinated a football team fireside, which they broadcast to 10 other chapels, allowing more than 3,200 BYU fans to watch live.

The Boise Chapter also joined the Holly and Bronco Mendenhall Foundation’s Thursday’s Heroes program in honoring children in the Boise community who are overcoming special challenges. Additionally, the Boise Chapter provided replenishment grants to three students, organized a send-off for local freshmen, and hosted a fun run.

“Getting the award is a huge honor,” says Tom Morris. “It represents a lot of work.”

The Ventura/Santa Barbara Chapter received the Connected for Good Award for its student-mentoring program, which included workshops for prospective college students. They also took a group of students to BYU to gain firsthand insights into the BYU experience.

The Silicon Valley Chapter hosted a BYU tailgate on the San Jose Giants baseball field that drew more than 3,500 fans. Prizes, a silent auction with footballs autographed by Steve Young (BA ’84), and a program that provided hundreds of filled stockings for a local women and children’s shelter all helped the chapter win the Cougar Fan Award.

In Nebraska the Omaha Chapter annually sponsors the Golden Apple Teacher Awards, for which it invites local seminary students to write an essay paying tribute to a teacher who has influenced them for good. Three essays are selected from hundreds of entries, and the featured teachers receive their awards at public events. Omaha received the Chapter Innovation Award for its efforts.

The Washington, D.C., Chapter earned the Chapter Rejuvenation Award. After a period of inactivity, the chapter organized five major events, including a Jimmer Fredette Night at a Washington Wizards game, a BYU women’s volleyball match at George Washington University, and a BYUNight at a Washington Nationals game.

“The purpose of the awards is to highlight the many good things our chapters accomplish every year,” says Brinkerhoff.

Web: For information about BYU Alumni chapters, visit alumni.byu.edu and select the Communities tab.