Close to 400 members of Utah State University’s Old Main Society gathered at the Old Main Society dinner on September 12 as the university inducted new members and honored some of its most important supporters.
As part of the Old Main Weekend, the university bestows its most prestigious award, the Spirit of Old Main Award for lifetime achievements and loyalty to the university.
This year’s recipients are Sunny and Hardy Redd, ranchers in southeastern Utah, for their dedication to service, visionary philanthropy and influence on the state of Utah and USU.
USU also has a new honor it will bestow Friday night, the first Spirit of Old Main New Generation Award to Mark and Wendi Holland of Bountiful.
The Old Main Society was established in 1967 to recognize alumni and friends whose support makes possible the fulfillment of Utah State’s mission.
Membership represents the pinnacle of recognition for those who express their belief in the institution through significant philanthropic support.
An abiding passion for the land and the history that is shaped by it has influenced the lives of Sunny and Hardy Redd. Together they have helped shape the community of La Sal, the ranching community of southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado, local and state politics, and the directions of state and community organizations.
Hardy and Sunny have spent their careers in ranching. Sunny still owns and manages the La Sal Mountain Guest Ranch.
Their ties to the community led them to active roles in the Republican Party, Society for Range Management and Utah Endowment for the Humanities. Hardy served six years in the Utah legislature.
Education has always held an important role in the lives of Sunny, Hardy and their children. When Sunny decided to get her master’s degree in education at Brigham Young University, she packed up eight of their 10 children and moved to Provo.
Hardy’s long involvement with Utah State University began as a student and continued on the board of trustees and the dean’s council for the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.
Hardy’s desire to understand the religious impulse aligned with history department head Norm Jones’s vision for a Religious Studies Program at Utah State University. Hardy persuaded his siblings as trustees of the Charles Redd Foundation to endow the first chair in this new program.
Others have raised funds for a chair honoring Leonard J. Arrington, a distinguished former professor at Utah State University. These new chairs coincide with the beginning of a nascent religious studies program with minors and majors in religious studies, as well as annual lectures extending the program to the entire university community.
Hardy’s father, Charles, began the legacy of philanthropy that Hardy and Sunny have continued through their own gifts and those of the Charles Redd Foundation.
Charles’s initial gift to Brigham Young University established the Redd Center for Western Studies, where a chair in western history, named for Hardy’s grandfather, was also established.
Hardy and Sunny have carried on the family’s philanthropic tradition with gifts to enhance many programs, including Dialogue, The Journal of Mormon Thought and The Society for Range Management.