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Front Page » April 29, 2003 » Local News » Murray named woman of the year at Womens Conference
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Murray named woman of the year at Womens Conference

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Kathy Murray helps with unloading chairs at the new Active Re-Entry Center near the fairgrounds in preparation for an open house the center is having. Murray is in the forefront of volunteer services in the Carbon County area, whether it be planning it, getting volunteers lined up or just doing the actual work herself.

Kathy Murray was surprised as she was honored at the 24th Annual Women's Conference held at the College of Eastern Utah.

Murray has been living in Price and employed at CEU for the past 19 years. She is the mother of four children and the grandmother of six. Ellen Serfestini of Utah State University extension "called all of my children and invited them to come," said Murray.

And much to Murray's surprise they all showed up. Murray was standing in line to get something to eat with a friend when she looked over and thought she saw her granddaughter. After taking a second look Murray realized it was her. Then she saw the rest of her kids and grandchildren.

The Women's Conference has been a tradition of Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan Counties for 24 years. Each year they select a woman from the area that they feel fits the title of "woman of the year." Nominations for this award come from the community participants of the conference. Individuals or organizations can make nominations for the award. Criteria for the award are for "women who have been examples in some area of her life," for instance through service. The winner of the award is kept a secret until it is announce at the luncheon at the conference.

She didn't expect to win and when they announced her name she "became weak in the knees and almost fainted," says Murray She was extremely surprised and overcome with joy.

"The conference is a time and place where women can come together and renew acquaintances, learn pertinent information and share things," says Murray.

Murray has done a lot of service for the community. In 1995 she developed the SUN involvement center, which is a place for students to become involved in the community.

Murray has also originated and coordinated highly successful career fairs. During the past year she has supervised 123 projects, 2,363 volunteers and devoted 9,148 hours of service.

Murray also introduced, supports and promotes the teaching of service learning, which is a teaching method that combines community service and academic instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility within the college sector.

Murray has the opportunity to be on boards and work on projects with Castle Country Promise, Active Re-Entry of Carbon County, Utah State University Extension Continuing Education, Friends of Family Support, Children's Justice Center of Carbon County, Carbon County Interagency Council, United Way of Eastern Utah, Carbon County Food Bank, Headstart, Newborns in Need, Habitat for Humanity, Youth and Families with Promise, CASA and PATH.

"Carbon County is so great because we can work together as a unit, unlike some of the bigger counties," states Murray. "This community is so supportive and involved with helping each other. The different agencies that I am privileged to work with have great goals and truly care about people, it's not just a job for them, but more like a calling of concern."

Murray says she is lucky to work with such wonderful people, especially the students at CEU.

"We have 20 student project leaders this year and the greatest SUN involvement center president and vice-president, Amy Callor and Adam Hebdon," remarked Murray. "We had our most successful year of service yet. There will be 39 new service-learning courses that were developed by CEU faculty."

Murray says, "Service is a way of life and a happy life." She first learned service from seeing her parent's actions.

"The sweetness of service touches my life every day as I see people helping and loving others. We all have worries and sorrows, we all have strengths and joys. Service is being ready and willing to help and be helped."

Murray says she will always continue to do service even well after she retires from CEU. She has adopted a favorite saying of Lowell Bennion, "remember, do good always."

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