Alumni Awards

Westminster University has a long tradition of honoring distinguished alumni. Established in 1985, the Westminster Alumni Awards recognize alumni who exemplify the values of a Westminster education by positively impacting our diverse and changing world through their careers or volunteer service to their communities.

Awardees are honored at the Alumni Awards reception every April. The Distinguished Alumni Awards, hosted by the Westminster Alumni Board, and the Athletics Hall of Fame were merged to honor all alumni as a campus community.

2024 Alumni Awards Ceremony and Reception
Friday, April 12, 2024
Westminster Performing Arts Center

Submit a Nomination

group of smiling people at the Alumni Awards 2023


President Dobkin poses with an alumni award recipient at the Alumni Awards 2023


2023 Alumni Award Winners

Andy Larsen headshot

Andy Larsen ('12)

Distinguished Alumni

Alumni who exemplify a Westminster University education by excelling in their careers or through service to their community receive the highest honor as a Distinguished Alumni.

Andy Larsen is an award-winning data columnist and sports writer for the Salt Lake Tribune. 

A Utah native, Larsen forged a unique path to a dream career. He began blogging as a teenager about the Utah Jazz as a passion project, growing an authentic following on social media. In 2014, local TV station KSL hired him to run their pro basketball coverage; in 2018, Larsen moved to the Tribune. The 31-year-old was named Utah’s Best Sports Reporter by City Weekly in 2022. 

But Larsen’s career was changed by COVID-19. After covering one of the earliest major events of the pandemic — Rudy Gobert’s Oklahoma City positive test that resulted in the suspension of American sports — Larsen relied on his math degree from Westminster to begin writing data columns about the crisis. His articles kept readers informed on new developments through clearly communicated statistics and science. Garnering national recognition, Larsen’s articles won first place in the 2020 Pandemic Reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists chapter representing the UT/CO/NM/WY region. He has continued to write a weekly data column on issues important to Utahns since. 

Larsen lives in Salt Lake City, and enjoys playing soccer, tennis, and chess. 

  • Tillie Uribe ('93) - 2022

  • Amy Leininger ('11) - 2020
  • Charles (Chuck) Chiarotti ('85) - 2020
  • Marlene M. Von Friedrichs-Fitzwater (’82) - 2019
  • Michelle Leo Cousins (’02, MPC ’12) - 2019
  • Scott Beck (MBA ’94) - 2019

  • Bill Mouskondis (’57) - 2017
  • Carlos Linares (’01, MBA ’05) - 2017
  • Patrick Mullen (’10) - 2017
  • Tofi Ta’afua (Honors ’01, MBA ’00) - 2017
  • Chris Wharton (’06) - 2016
  • Jeffery Nelson (MBA ’04) - 2016
  • Trent Thursby Alvey (’87) - 2016
  • Ginger Giovale (’65) - 2015
  • Joe Muscolino (’75) - 2015
  • Ray Bradford (’07) - 2015
  • Ann Merritt (’66) - 2014
  • Ashley Babbitt (’10, MSC ’16) - 2014
  • Ronald Jibson MBA (’91) - 2014
  • Julie Balk (’83) - 2013
  • Kim T. Adamson (’79) - 2013
  • Solomon Swan (’07, MBA ’12) - 2013
  • Frances Battle, M.Ed (’78) - 2012
  • Khosrow Semnani (’72) - 2012
  • Richard Paff (’67) - 2012
  • Babs De Lay (’76, ’79) - 2011
  • Dirk van Klaveren (’70) - 2010
  • James Andersen (’74) - 2010
  • Patrick Iverson (’76) - 2010
  • DeAnne Dunn Hanson (’64) - 2008
  • John “Jackie” Robertson (’78) - 2008
  • Roberta Roberts Patrick (’56) - 2008
  • France A. Davis (’77) - 2007
  • Josie Valdez (’83) - 2007
  • Mark Wheatley (’89) - 2007
  • Barbara Parady Hoagland (’70) - 2006
  • Lowell Judson Farmer (’56) - 2006

  • Owen D. Wells (’75) - 2006
  • Christine Pannier Chytraus (’77) - 2005

  • David Litvack (’94) - 2005
  • William L. Sedgewick (’94) - 2005
  • William Y.K. Wong (’58) - 2005

  • Shirley Michel (’87) - 2004
  • Thomas Metcalf ('65) - 2004
  • Doug Morton (’73) - 2002
  • Forrest S. Much (’73) - 2002

  • June Cline (’87) - 2001
  • Patrick Moore (’77) - 2000

  • Richard D. Wood (’77) - 1999
  • Irene Warr - 1998
  • Bernice Bradshaw - 1985
  • Jim Martin (’97) 
  • Steve Crane (’70)

Katelyn Killian headshot

Katelynn Killian ('20)

Outstanding Alumni VOLUNTEER

Outstanding Alumni Volunteers provide significant volunteer hours supporting the success of our students and the college as a whole.

Katelynn Killian is a Salt Lake City born and based Dance Artist. A 2020 graduate of Westminster University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. She was awarded Outstanding Graduating Senior in her cohort and continues to be an active alumnus. Killian enjoys freelancing with dance, opera, and theater companies. Most recently, she performed with Ririe Woodbury Dance Company with Westminster students. She is also the Artistic Director at The Lab Dance Studio and works as the Arts for All program coordinator in the Eccles Theater with SLCo Arts and Culture. 
  • Catherine Foster ('17, MSC '19) - 2022
  • Tyson Olcott ('13, '17) - 2020
  • Rodney Glore ('16) - 2019
  • Stephanie Tobey ('98, MBA '00) - 2017
  • Jim Carter ('72) - 2016
  • Susan T. Holt ('73) - 2015
  • Noreen Rouillard - 2013
  • Elvira Charles Nelson ('79, MM '84)
  • Lee Payne (MBA '03)
  • Stacie Luftkin Whitford ('92)
Byron Russell and Monte Caldwell

Byron Russell and Monte Caldwell

Honorary Alumni

Honorary Alumni provide outstanding service and dedication to the mission of Westminster University.

In March of 2011, Byron founded Byron Russell LLC addressing a need of facilitating connections between corporations, foundations, and individuals. Utilizing his experience in international politics, journalism, fundraising, finance, economic development, philanthropy and social enterprise, Byron has added value to a wide range of companies both locally and internationally. 
Byron was Vice President of Development for over five years for Western Governors University, fundraising and leading the National Advisory Board of Fortune 500 corporate partners to enhance the quality of an educated workforce. 
Before joining WGU, Byron was the Founding Executive Director of the Salt Lake Cultural District Development. He created this initiative to create state-of-the art facilities in downtown Salt Lake City with a mission to project a greater quality of life through increased economic development. 
Formerly a Private Banking Vice President at Zions Bank, Byron was provided on loan to the Salt Lake Chamber for two years. 
In 1994 he worked in Development at the Utah Symphony for six years. Prior to that role, he was a writer at the Washington Post and a political reporter for the Washington Times covering the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch. His experience in politics began in South Africa, the British House of Commons and working to make Namibia--the last colony in Africa—independent. 
Byron was born in Washington, DC, and now considers Utah as his home. 
Monte became managing partner for Byron Russell LLC in August of 2011, and is responsible for all operational aspects of the LLC. He specializes in creative strategies, project management, logistics/operations, agency/client relations, and strategic initiatives. He also has extensive experience with contract management, financial services reporting, and database customizations and integration. 
Monte’s prior professional experience includes positions in the financial sector with Fidelity Investments where he obtained financial certifications, administered internal communications, reviewed corporate sponsorships, and held a financial analyst position within regional finance and administration in Salt Lake City. 
Monte also spent time in the corporate travel sector with Morris Travel as an analyst/database administrator where he implemented customized platforms which transformed the industry. More recently, he was with Pohlad Companies, where he served as Vice President of Operations and managed a team of analysts funding financial leasing structures throughout the country in excess of $100MM annually. 
Monte serves on several boards including the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) Tier II Board, the ENCIRCLE Advisory Board, and serves on the University of Utah Fine Arts Advisory Board, the University of Utah Music Advisory Board, and is a graduate of the University of Utah in piano performance. 
  • Jeanne Ambruster - 2022
  • Kristi Jones - 2020
  • Bill Orchow - 2019
  • Alan Rogers - 2017
  • Preston Chiaro - 2016
  • Curt Crowther - 2015
  • Mary Crowther - 2015
  • Michael Bassis - 2012
  • Bob Frankenberg
  • Steve Morgan
Craig Caldwell Headshot

Craig Caldwell ('77)

Athletics Hall of Fame

Alumni who performed exceptionally well in one or more Westminster University athletic programs, receiving athletic recognition and displaying good character and citizenship.

Craig Caldwell was a natural athlete who grew up loving the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. After a stellar high school career in Orange County, California, Craig became an outstanding student-athlete at Westminster University, playing wide receiver for the Parsons after transferring from Fullerton Junior College. Drawn to Salt Lake’s proximity to so much great skiing, Craig chose Westminster after a recruiting trip.  

Following his graduation from Westminster, Craig moved back to California and attended the physical therapy program at the University of California, San Francisco. He opened Caldwell Physical Therapy and Sports Rehabilitation in 1983. As a Valencia High School graduate, he enjoys serving his local community by providing health care and athletic training to student-athletes in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. Craig utilizes a holistic approach to therapy and believes in treating the whole patient, not just the injury.  

He and his wife of 40 years, Terri, have three children: Jenny, Jessica, and Jimmy. Craig and Terri love spending their free time with their four grandkids and one grand-dog. 

Mitch Montgomery Headshot

Mitch Montgomery ('01)

AthLetics Hall of Fame

Alumni who performed exceptionally well in one or more Westminster University athletic programs, receiving athletic recognition and displaying good character and citizenship.

Mitch was born and raised in Huntsville, Utah. Growing up he excelled in football, baseball, track, and basketball. He played high school basketball at Weber High School, where he was All-State averaging 22ppg. Mitch continued his education and basketball career at Snow College where he led his Snow College team to a league championship with a regular season record of 28-2.  

In 1999, Mitch chose to stay close to home and joined the newly reinstated Westminster basketball program. In his first year, he averaged 16.8ppg and he was named to the All-Conference Team. The following year, Mitch led the Griffins to a Frontier Conference championship and a berth in the NAIA National Championship tournament. He was honored as the Frontier conference Player of the Year and a 1st Team All American. Mitch graduated with honors from Westminster in Business Management. After college he accepted an offer to play basketball professionally overseas in Gent, Belgium. Mitch returned to Utah and began an 18-year career as an Escrow Officer. He is married to Amy, also a former Griffin basketball player. They have 3 boys - Mack (16), Ty (13), and Drew (6). Mitch is forever grateful for his time spent at Westminster and for Tommy Connor taking a chance on him. 

group of alumni posing in front of Westminster step and repeat banner at the Alumni Awards 2022

male and female looking at each other while posing with Westminster Alumni Award trophy

Distinguished Alumni Award Nominations

Any individual can nominate a Westminster University alumnus for an award. Nominations are accepted through October 31 for the following year. An alumni board committee selects awardees every winter.