Utah State University held a luncheon to honor the Perry family last year and discovered that the integrity of past graduates influenced the Perry family's decision to fund a scholarship endowment for today's students.
Theodore (Ted) Perry donated $67,000 to set up a scholarship endowment fund in honor of his mother, Nora Perry, and his sister, Mignon Perry. An estate gift from Mignon Perry added $500,000 to the gift and Ted Perry has set up his own estate gift that will also be invested in the endowment.
Theodore (Ted) Perry spoke at a luncheon held to recognize the Perry family for its donations. The scholarship endowment the Perry's have established is in honor of mother, Nora, and sister, Mignon.
Mignon Perry graduated from Utah State Agricultural College with a bachelor's degree in home economics in 1941 and a master's degree in clothing and textiles in 1947. She earned her doctorate from Cornell University. She taught at Utah State University and at Washington State University in Pullman. Ted Perry said her students were like family to her. Her teaching influenced many for good throughout her life.
Mignon's mother, Nora, got a Bachelor of Science degree from Utah Agricultural College in 1910 and was vice president of her senior class.
At the luncheon, Ted Perry said that for 50 years his father, L. Tom Perry, Sr., and he were attorneys for the First National Bank. He said in his dealings with graduates of the College of Business at USU he found them to be honest people who made true disclosures on their financial statements.
"We never had a single problem with them," he said. "If they got in difficulties, we didn't have to sue. They came to us and explained how they were going to get out of their difficulties and they always kept their word."
He also said that when he was a circuit court judge for 11 years he doesn't ever remember a USU College of Business graduate appearing before him who was involved in white-collar crime.
"That's a marvelous reputation," he said. "I hope it continues because I don't think anything means more to parents than to know that they are sending their children to a school that not only teaches them the principles of business, but also teaches them to be honest and upright and leave a good reputation."
President Stan Albrecht spoke at the luncheon and personally thanked the Perry family members who attended, including Ted Perry's brother, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Elder L. Tom Perry, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also spoke at the lunch.
"We are here today to say thank you to the Perry family for your support of this institution," President Albrecht said. "That support comes to us in so many different ways. I want you all to know that we are a better university because we can count you part of the Aggie family and I also want you to know that we are better people because we can count you as our friends."
Dean Douglas D. Anderson paid tribute to Mignon and Nora Perry, talking about the school that Nora Perry conducted for her children in her kitchen.
"By giving the gift of education through this scholarship endowment fund, the Perrys are ensuring that the doors to education will be opened long after they are gone," Anderson said. "They, like my colleagues here at the College of Business, care about the students at Utah State University and we're honored to share such worthy goals with such exemplary people."
Elder Perry talked about the powerful example that Mignon and Ted have set. He also challenged Ted to a race across the quad after lunch as they had done as children.
"This university has power," Elder Perry said. "It is something special. It reaches to every corner of this great state and all over the world. With that faith and that foundation, with that spirit and with that vitality, in a world that is so desperate for leadership, we challenge you to come forward and develop that leadership that will be felt in these great nations of the earth . . . They need it, they are looking for it. They admire and respect institutions such as this. We want you to know that you'll always have our support."