When Jon M. Huntsman came to USU in December of 2007 to announce he was giving the College of Business $25 million, he came with some important guests in tow. They included Utah Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr., three apostles from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a former dean from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas P. Gerrity. That’s not to mention the spouses and other carefully selected people who made the trip to USU on two private jets or another LDS apostle, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, who would be waiting for them at the university.
Business Ambassadors meet on the ninth floor of the George S. Eccles Business Building to plan upcoming events.
Among the small group there to greet the in-bound party of VIPs at the airport were Morgan Cox, a Business Ambassador, and Eddie Norton, Business Senator.
Cox said he ended up on one of the two buses that took the group to the USU campus with Jon M. Huntsman, President Boyd K. Packer, Elder M. Russell Ballard and Gerrity.
“I was sitting right across from the two apostles and Jon Huntsman was sitting next to me,” he said.
As they drove to campus, Cox answered questions about himself and the school. Cliff Skousen, senior associate dean for faculty development and administrative affairs, was also at the airport but did not ride on the same bus with Cox to USU. He said he knew that Cox and Norton would represent the school well.
“The Business Ambassadors play a crucial role in supporting the Huntsman School of Business and in shaping the way others view us,” Dr. Skousen said. “We have total confidence in each of them because they are a select group of intelligent, innovative and dependable students who have consistently proven they are worthy of such trust.”
Business Ambassadors are called upon to give tours, host important guests and do more mundane things like usher for an important event.
“We are here to help the Dean’s Office,” said Josh Kerkmann, a Business Ambassador.
“We even pulled staples out of bulletin boards before school started,” said Cox, who now serves as president of the Business Ambassadors.
He jokes that after his experience greeting the Huntsmans at the airport it was inevitable he’d be selected to lead the group.
“I was the ‘anointed one’ after that point,” Cox said, laughing.
Business Ambassadors are also drafted to go on recruiting trips and share their experiences with potential students.
One might think that Business Ambassadors serve in hopes of padding their resumes or making connections that might help them after graduation. Those interviewed, however, talked of how much they appreciate what they’ve gained from their time at USU and how they want to share that with others and help shape the future of the school.
“It gives me an opportunity to make a difference,” said Brian Francom, a Business Ambassador. “Not necessarily to gain recognition but just to be able to change the School of Business, to represent something that I feel is important to me.”