Recognizing Weber’s retirees

Ella Mitchell
A group of retirees who attended the retirement reception standing together for a group photo.

Weber State University’s Academic Affairs held a recognition ceremony for retiring faculty and staff for the 2022-23 academic year. Colleagues expressed thanks for the work of those leaving WSU. Attendees shared laughter, applause and tears at the reception.

“We’ll always consider you our family here at Weber,” WSU President Brad Mortensen said.

Provost Ravi Krovi conducted the ceremony. In his opening remarks, he recognised the work of those retiring for their contribution in making WSU a student-centered university.

“We pride ourselves as being known for teaching and being very student-centered,” Krovi said. “This doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because they really, really believed in it.”

Krovi invited colleagues to share a few words about their co-workers and friends who are now retiring. David Ferro, dean of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology, became emotional as he spoke of Associate Dean Allyson Saunders, who is retiring after 23 years at the university.

“We’re just going to close the college down,” Ferro joked about working without Saunders. “You have been so instrumental.”

Saunders, who worked as a teacher before her current position, said she was drawn to WSU because of her love for students.

“I’ve worked at other places before here, but I really chose Weber because it’s student-oriented,” she said. “It’s just what I love.”

Ferro characterized Saunders as brave, smart, grounded and ethical.

“I have lifelong friends here,” Saunders said. “It’s just been a great way to end my career.”

Catherine Zublin, a professor of theater who oversees costume design, is also retiring after 37 years at WSU.

Shortly after Zublin started working at WSU, the theater department grew into The Department of Performing Arts. The unexpected shift was overwhelming for Zublin.

“I moved 2,500 miles,” Zublin said “I bought a house. My husband’s unemployed and I’m pregnant. He said, ‘Don’t worry, it’ll be okay.’ And he was right.”

Zublin has designed for over 70 shows for Weber, including the first costume for her then-student, now-colleague Andrew Lewis wore while performing at WSU.

Lewis, an assistant professor of theater, expressed his gratitude for Zublin’s work and dedication over the years.

“I’ve always had the most open-minded students on campus,” Zublin said. “That’s made all the difference.”

A tribute to her work, “Catherine Zublin: A Legacy of Costume Design Stitched Together at Weber State University,” will open May 5. The gallery exhibit will feature Zublin’s works she has created during her time at the university. It will be held in the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery in the Kimball Visual Arts Center.

“It is definitely hard,” Krovi said. “They’ve built the foundation of what we know as Weber State, whether you think about our curriculum or programs and so on … their contribution to what has become Weber State is immeasurable.”

Those retiring from Academic Affairs are as follows:
Kristy Baron
Teri Bell
Kaylene Chalmers
Wendy Fox-Kirk
Ann Gessel
Kirk Hagen
Vicky Hansen
Dwayne Hansen
Rodney Hansen
Holly Hastings
Chris Housley
Rebecca L Johns
Betty Kusnierz
Diane Leggett-Fife
Karen Lindley
Allyson Saunders

William Lorowitz
David Malone
Thomas Mathews
Rick Orr
Marvin Orrock
Angelika Pagel
Stacy Palen
Susan Smith
John Sohl
Mikel Vause
Barbara Wachocki
Catherine Zublin