Each year at the annual Founder's Day Dinner the College of Eastern Utah recognizes outstanding athletes, alumni and community members. This year the college will give special recognition and thanks to nine new members of the Gold Circle. Their contributions will be recognized with an eagle statue which was sculpted by James Young, retired CEU professor of art.
Those receiving this award are: Duane A. and Velma B. Frandsen, Provo; Boyd and Helen Henrie, Wellington; Joe and Mimi Leavitt, Phoenix, Ariz., Dick MacKnight (posthumous); Ray and Mildred B. Nielsen (posthumous); Floyd A. and Shauna O'Niel, Salt Lake City; Robert Radakovich, Price; Enid Seaton Ruoff, Ithaca, N.Y.; and Louis Vuksinick, M.D., of San Francisco, Calif.
CEU invited all interested community members to attend the Founder's Day Dinner and Awards program which will be held on Saturday, March 27 starting at 5:00 p.m. in the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center.
College of Eastern Utah will also award posthumous recognition to Bill Peterson and Curt Jenson with the "Upon Their Shoulders" award given to their families at the annual Founder's Day Dinner. Peterson and Jenson each were with the college for over 30 years, both were hired as coaches and each also served as athletic director during their tenure at CEU.
Bill Peterson grew up on a farm in Huntsville. He started his career in sports at Huntsville Jr. High followed by his years at Weber High School where he participated in basketball, football and track. At Weber High he was the region's leading scorer for two years. He was named MVP for class A basketball in 1944 and all-state basketball team for the news media. He joined the U. S. Navy upon graduation in 1944 serving on the USS Tucson in the Pacific and witnessed the signing of the Armistice with Japan.
When Peterson returned from the service he attended the University of Utah on a basketball scholarship and played on the team that won the NIT in 1947. After graduating he taught in the public schools until 1953 when he was hired at Carbon College as the basketball coach. He served as head basketball coach for 11 years and was athletic director from 1966 to 1983. While serving as AD he worked on the plans for the athletic center (BDAC) which opened in 1985 just two years before he retired from CEU with 37 years of service.
Curt Jenson is a native of Sandy and started his athletic career at Jordan High School where he earned All-State honors in both baseball and basketball . He then enrolled at the University of Utah where he played both basketball and baseball earning All-State honors in both. He then enrolled at the University of Utah where he also played both sports, again earning All-Conference and All-District honors in both sports. Following graduation, he played professional baseball in the Boston Red Sox organization for five seasons, mostly at the AAA level. His first official coaching duties were in the military. While serving in the U.S. Air Force in France, he began coaching baseball and basketball. Jenson also played on the European Armed Forces basketball team of 1959.
When Jenson completed his time in the military, he worked as assistant coach under LaDell Andersen at Utah State University and Jack Gardner at the University of Utah.
Jenson accepted the position of head basketball coach at CEU in 1964. His first CEU team advanced to the NJCCA finals, finishing third in the nation with a 23-9 record. Jenson coached basketball at CEU for 22 years, and baseball for 16 years. In 1990 he became athletic director, completing his career at CEU in 1997 with 33 years of service.