Bonnie Jean Beesley Guest Speaker at St. George Gala

The St. George Gala for Scholarships, a dinner-dance with honored guests hosted by the St. George Branch of the American Association of University Women, will be held Oct. 24 at the DiFiore Center for Arts and Education at 307 N. Main St. in St. George.

Donna Howell, President of the local AAUW group, said the festive event is, “a night of inspiration and celebration for those who give and work to build a stronger community through education.”

Bonnie Jean Beesley, a woman who has dedicated a good portion of her public life and private giving to helping Utah residents and others around the world gain aBonnie Jean Beesley post–secondary education degree or certificate, will share the inspiration she gained from dedicating energy and resources to others.

She completed two six-year terms on the Utah State Board of Regents this past May having served since 2003. Beesley  was vice chair for six years prior to accepting the gavel in 2012 and was Chair until 2014. The Utah State Board of Regents is appointed by the governor and chartered to manage, control, and supervise Utah’s higher education system.

She believes, “Increasingly our quality of life as individuals and families and as a community is impacted by our level of educational attainment.” She worked with the Board of Regents in support of the “Big Goal” of “66% by 2020” – a goal to raise the level of educational attainment such that 66% of the working age population in Utah would have a meaningful certificate or degree by the year 2020.

Also speaking will be Richard “Biff” Williams, president of DSU where much of the St. George AAUW branch’s scholarship monies are invested in young women entering or returning to college after interrupting their education to raise a family or for other reasons. A recent scholarship recipient, LauraLyn VanWagoner, will comment on what the award has done for her.

“We’re encouraging everyone to come dressed for a party,” Howell said. “The West Coast Jazz players will provide music to dance to and there will be silent and live auctions as well,” she noted. Tickets are $75.00 and can be purchased online here: http://aauw-stgeorge.org/tickets/

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