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Helper woman donates to scholarship fund at CEU

Donna Vee Forsyth Christensen

A native of Carbon County has donated a substantial amount of money to the College of Eastern Utah for student scholarships.

Donna Vee Forsyth Christensen has established a trust fund that will be used for international student scholarships. The total amount placed in the trust fund by Christensen was $180,808.25.

Christensen was recently honored as an outstanding supporter by being given the Gold Circle Award at the 2007 Founder Days celebration in March.

Christensen was raised in Price until she was in the fourth grade and then the family moved to Helper. She attended elementary school there and then went to Helper Junior High and on to Carbon High School. While she was attending high school she was able to take concurrent classes at CEU at the same time.

After graduation from high school she moved to Salt Lake where she started a nursing career. She was two years into her program when her life changed when she met Ron Christensen, who married her and took her to Richfield where she spent the next 35 years owning and running the Holiday Host Motel on the Sevier county seats Main Street.

During that time the couple had three children and in addition ran some farming property in the area. Later two of the children attended CEU.

At one point she decided to go back to school and started classes at Snow College where she was an honor student. During that time she also participated on the Snow College debate team.

"I was surprised and delighted when we went to debate Snow and there she was on their team," said former CEU debate coach Neil Warren.

Later Christensen completed her bachelors degree at Southern Utah University, with a major in psychology and a minor in history. An honor student she soon found herself teaching at Richfield Junior High and then North Sevier High School in Salina.

The years passed and it seemed too soon that the couple had reached their retirement years. They decided to stay in Richfield and bought a new house. Their plans including relaxing, traveling and just enjoying life. However, Ron incurred some health problems and not long after Donna suffered a paralyzing stroke. Despite the setback Donna decided she loved teaching and began tutoring Spanish students. Soon she found she had an interest in disadvantaged kids.

When she moved back to her roots in Helper she continued to be involved in teaching students and became very interested in international students. It was then that she decided to contribute the money to the college.

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