It seems like I post something about the library rather frequently. For that I do apologize. I promise that I will not post something about the library for at least another seven days.
Every year, the Sherratt Library at SUU hosts a Gala called “An Evening with Friends.” This was the second library gala I have attended and was, in my opinion, the best. The theme of this year’s gala was “All Aboard!” It incorporated the 150th anniversary of the Union Pacific railroad and Cedar City’s historic connection with UP, the Utah Parks Company (which was a subsidiary of UP) and the National Parks Service. Since 1923, Cedar City has been known as the “Gateway to the Parks.” Those parks are Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Usually, my least favorite part of any organized program are the speeches (and my favorite part is usually the hors d’oeuvres). However, the speakers at the gala were wonderful! Besides the normal “Thanks for supporting the library” talks, we heard from SUUSA Academic VP Walker Wood. It was great that one of the speakers was a student. Wood told the audience how their donations had helped the library add two new study rooms in just a short period of time. The donations also pay for digitization of historic records. His voice added authenticity to the gratitude that the student body feels for the facilities and services we have available. Daniel T. Harbeke from UP gave a commemorative coin to the library for their generous and continuing efforts of preserving and recording history (especially UP and NPS history). We also heard wonderful stories from a brother and sister who worked in Zion with the Utah Parks Company back in the early 1950’s. They were great speeches and hearing their stories made me proud to be a Southern Utahan surrounded by great history, and proud to be attending an institution that makes a concerted effort in preserving the rich heritage of this area.
In attendance at the gala were many Utah Parks Company alumni. At one point in the evening, the alumni from all three parks were invited to sing their various “Sing-Away” songs. Sing-Aways were traditionally sung when a group of tourists (or “dudes,” as they were affectionately referred to) left the park at the end of their stay.
The evening proceeded with two numbers from SUU’s Ballroom Dance Company, cake, and dance music from SUU’s Jazz Band.
It was a great event and I’m definitely going to go again next year.