Utah State University Homecoming week culminates Friday and Saturday with both traditional events and several activities scheduled this year for the first time.Many new activities are scheduled Friday and Saturday, including tours of campus, classes without quizzes from popular professors, many entertainment events and new reunion activities for various campus groups. These new events are in addition to the traditional Homecoming Parade Saturday morning in downtown Logan, the Homecoming Dance Friday night, the Aggie football game against Southern Utah University on Saturday and the always-popular “True Aggie Night” at midnight Friday.The annual Homecoming Parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday on Main Street in Logan. It will be led by Grand Marshal Eric Hipple and includes other homecoming dignitaries: Alumni of the Year Gary and Karen Black and Young Alumnus of the Year Charisse Bremond Weaver (see biographies of each below).For times of events and a complete schedule of activities throughout the week, visit http://www.usu.edu/homecoming/schedule.New activities include a Silver Aggie Reunion, the Young Alumni Mixer, and Classes Without Quizzes, which will feature some of the university’s most popular professors and guests teaching classes without the pressure of tests. Admission is free to the three classes, and the public is invited.Hipple, a former NFL quarterback whose 10-year career was spent entirely with the Detroit Lions, will speak Friday at 1:30 p.m. at a Dean’s Convocation for the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business in room 215 of the George S. Eccles Business Building. Hipple, who was the university’s campus-wide Convocations speaker Thursday, recently authored a book called “Real Men DO Cry,” which chronicles his life as an NFL quarterback from youth to his current position and his struggle with suicide loss and his own depression. His story is one of hope and recovery.One of USU’s most beloved professors, Ross Peterson, teaches Friday in a lecture titled “B.S. Baffles Brains: the Best History Lecture I Never Gave in 33 Years at USU.” Peterson is well known by former students from across campus for his engaging wit, profound knowledge and entertaining teaching style. His class is 3-4:30 p.m. in the Eccles Conference Center auditorium.Dr. Alan Parrish teaches a class Friday about John A. Widtsoe, the father of Extension who changed the face of the American West with his work in irrigation and dry farming. Widtsoe was president of Utah Agricultural College (USU’s former name) and the University of Utah and an LDS General Authority. Parrish wrote a book the life of Widtsoe. The class is from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Eccles Conference Center auditorium.Saturday’s capstone event surely is the annual Homecoming football game, this year football game against Southern Utah University. This is the Aggies first home football game of the year led by new coach Gary Anderson. The game begins at 6:05 p.m. in Romney Stadium.This year’s Homecoming week also is scheduled in conjunction with College of Agriculture Week, so events Saturday include the traditional Ag Day barbecue — always a crowd favorite — featuring Utah’s best agricultural products from 3-5 p.m. on the practice field of the Stan Laub Training Center.USU HOMECOMING HONOREESEric Hipple: Homecoming Grand MarshalEric Hipple is a former NFL quarterback whose 10-year career was spent entirely with the Detroit Lions. His accomplishments include two playoff bids and a divisional championship. In addition, he was named Most Valuable Player for the 1981 season, and his jersey hangs in the Canton Hall of Fame for a Monday Night Football debut deemed best in NFL history. He is ranked fifth in all-time career passing yards in the Detroit record books.After his football career, Hipple worked as a freelance sports field reporter and was an analyst for the Fox Network’s local pre-game show from 1995 to 2000. He has been featured in television’s “Home Improvement,” “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” and played a part in the Bear Bryant movie.Since his retirement from the Detroit Lions, Hipple has been a professional motivational speaker and works as a sales consultant. His public speaking work shifted to topics of depressive disorder awareness and treatment, and to suicide prevention in 2000, after the tragic death of his 15-year-old son to suicide.He currently serves on the board of the American Association of Suicidology. He works at the University of Michigan’s Depression Center as Outreach Coordinator. Born in Texas and raised in California, he attended USU and graduated in business administration with a computer science option. After graduation, he was drafted by the Detroit Lions. He and his family remain in Michigan and call it home.Hipple recently authored a book, “Real Men DO Cry,” which chronicles his life as an NFL quarterback from youth to his current position and his struggle with suicide loss and his own depression. His story is one of hope and recovery. Offering education as well as practical advice, it serves to help others live and enjoy life again.Gary and Karen Black: Alumni of the YearGary and Karen Black met while attending the Huntsman School of Business at USU in the 1960s. Gary graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1963. Since their time at USU, both Gary and Karen have shared ample success in the professional world. Although they both lead busy professional lives, the Blacks have never allowed that to detract from their family or civic efforts.Gary is the current owner of Black Agri Land, SL-TB Holdings, and Condies Foods. Actively involved in the food industry, Gary is a founding member of International Fresh-Cut Produce Association. He currently sits on the United Fresh Produce Association Education and Research board in Washington, D.C. He is also a member of the McDonalds Produce Council. Gary has remained an active member of the School of Business community. A long-time member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, he serves on the School of Business National Advisory Board. In 2002 Gary received the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business Distinguished Executive Alumnus award. As co-owner of Condies Foods, Karen also serves on the company’s board of directors. She is also the founder and owner of A Basket of Treasures. In addition, she is the owner of Karen’s Ceramics, through which she has taught ceramics in Utah and Salt Lake counties for 25 years. Karen is a past PTA president, past guild president of The Children’s Museum of Utah, past board member of The Children’s Museum of Utah, and board member of The Ronald McDonald House. She worked for 20 years with the Festival of Trees and was on the founders committee for The Children’s Museum of Utah. Karen has received the Hearts and Hands Award twice, and currently serves on the corporate committee for The Ronald McDonald House, where she was named Volunteer of the Year in 2001.For over two decades, the Blacks have continuously supported USU. As members of the Old Main Society, Gary and Karen have kept close ties with the university. Gary is also member of the Old Main President’s Circle. In 2005 the Blacks established the Gary Black and Karen Walton Black Endowment and Scholarship in the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. True Aggies, through and through, the Blacks have watched their four children, Scott Black, Lorie Black Longaker, Traci Black Smith and Brittany Black Uberti all attend USU.Charisse Bremond Weaver: Young Alumnus of the YearIn 2006, Charisse Bremond Weaver assumed the presidency of the Brotherhood Crusade, the community service and development organization founded by her late father, Walter Bremond, in 1968. As the first woman to ever hold this post, she set out to maintain the organization’s reputation as a powerful, established voice for a community that has periodically erupted under the pressures of socioeconomic inequality and institutionalized injustice.Bremond Weaver retraces familiar territory and simultaneously blazes uncharted frontiers when observers note her pioneering status in leading the Brotherhood Crusade. She has established her own distinguishing trademark, her ability to build corporate and community partnerships that result in long-term relationships with government officials, corporate executives and community leaders. As a consequence, she has generated over $20 million that has subsequently been used to provide services and support nonprofit institutions in the areas of health, economic development, education and social welfare.As a testament to her continued commitment, Bremond Weaver has received awards from “Turning Point Magazine,” A. Philip Randolph Institute Los Angeles, Jenesse Center (Circle of Excellence), LAAAW PAC (Power PAC), and numerous other fine organizations. Her inspiring work was featured in the Spring 2009 issue of Utah State magazine.
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