UA to Grant Honorary Degrees to 7
A rancher, a health care CEO and a foundation president are among those who will be honored at Commencement.

University Relations - Communications
May 8, 2015

The 151st University of Arizona Commencement will feature speaker Jon Huntsman Jr., who also is among seven who will receive honorary degrees from the University.

A statesman who has worked at the highest levels for both Republican and Democratic presidents, Huntsman and the others will receive honorary degrees on May 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Arizona Stadium.

The others to be honored are:

Betsy Bolding, Community Volunteer

A native Arizonan, Betsy Bolding is a well-known leader in southern Arizona. She is best known for her advocacy work and efforts in helping to improve the lives of individuals across the state.

As the consumer affairs manager for Tucson Electric Power/UNS Energy for the past 25 years, Bolding has leveraged her professional and liberal arts knowledge and experience to create engaging and effective programs and services, often in support of K-12 education and low-income communities. Bolding retired from her position in March.

Having earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a master's degree in English from the UA, Bolding taught high school journalism and English for 15 years. In the evening, while still teaching, she hosted a weekly television interview program, "Women's Place/Every Place," on an independent channel.

Bolding's TV stint led her to live news interviews, enabling her to become familiar with key elected officials and political figures and honing her interest in politics and public service. In 1978, after successfully co-chairing Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt's campaign in southern Arizona, she served as director of his Tucson office during his eight-year tenure.

Having made a successful impact in the educational and political spheres, Bolding turned her attention to the corporate arena.

At Tucson Electric Power/UNS Energy, Bolding continued her service to the public. During her time with the company, she was involved on the Tucson Mayor's Commission on Poverty and the board of the Arizona Community Action Association and its Home Energy Assistance Fund advisory board, a statewide effort to provide energy assistance to low-income families.

P. Andrew Groseta, Arizona Rancher

P. Andrew "Andy" Groseta is a third-generation Arizona rancher from Cottonwood who has reached the apex of success in his ranching career, industry leadership roles and service to the community and his alma mater.

The Groseta family is one of the pioneer mining and ranching families that settled in north central Arizona, with operations including the Pine Creek Ranch, a stocker ranch north of Williams, and the W Dart Ranch, a cow and calf operation based in Cottonwood.

Groseta is a partner in Headquarters West Ltd., a statewide agribusiness firm specializing in farm and ranch brokerage, appraisals, management and consulting.

In 2008, he was selected by then-President George W. Bush to serve as a member of the U.S. presidential delegation attending the inauguration of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Groseta represented American cattlemen in resolving the U.S.-Korean beef trade issue, allowing U.S. beef back into South Korea.

In 2006, Groseta and his wife, Mary Beth Groseta, donated land in northern Arizona to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences — invaluable to the UA's presence north of the rim. Groseta also has spent hours lobbying state representatives for increased funding, which paid off in an increase of nearly 33 percent in base funding for UA Cooperative Extension.

Groseta earned bachelor's degrees in animal science and agriculture education and a master's degree in agriculture education from the UA. In 2014, he was named the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumnus of the Year.

Peter W. Salter, Retired CEO

Believing that quality care begins with quality products, Peter W. Salter in 1976 founded Salter Labs and grew it into a leading manufacturer of disposable respiratory and sleep diagnostics. The company's products are now used in hospitals and home care.

In the nearly four decades Salter Labs has supplied innovative and proprietary medical consumables and equipment, it has come to hold more than 30 patents and a significant number of copyrights. The company's operations extend into states that include California, Texas and New Hampshire and internationally into Mexico.

Under Salter's leadership, the company has worked to enhance the patient experience, selling its products to more than 5,000 home health care providers, including local branches of companies that include Apria Healthcare, Lincare and Rotech. Salter served as the president and chief executive officer until his retirement.

Over the course of his career, Salter has been a devoted proponent of higher education and a long-standing advocate of the UA's Eller College of Management.

Salter has made important contributions that have helped transform the lives of hundreds of students, faculty and staff, including support through the funding of the Salter Distinguished Professorship in Management and Technology.

He also provided the seed support that helped the Eller College launch the Center for Management Innovations in Health Care, which capitalizes on faculty strengths to contribute new human, strategic and technological resources to improve the organization and management of health care delivery systems. The center focuses on education, research and community partnerships in Arizona and beyond.

Sarah Smallhouse, Foundation President

Sarah Smallhouse is a Tucson native and president of the Thomas R. Brown Foundations, which honor the legacy of her father, Tom Brown, and have contributed heavily to the University.

The Brown Foundations have supported UA students and faculty broadly across campus, but principally in the Colleges of Engineering and Science, and also the Eller College of Management. The most recent support the Brown Foundations have provided has been aimed at commercialization of UA innovations through Tech Launch Arizona.

Economic literacy is an area in which the Brown Foundations have made a significant investment in Arizona.

Through academic chairs and professorships, graduate fellowships and support for the Office of Economic Education at the Eller College, the Brown Foundations have offered professional development for K-12 teachers as well as aspiring professors. Also, the foundations have held public forums and brought expert analysis to highly charged and controversial issues for the benefit of civic leaders and policymakers.

Smallhouse received her bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Washington and earned a Master of Business Administration at the Eller College with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. Most recently, she earned a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

An active UA alumna, Smallhouse has served on a number of University boards and committees. She is the immediate past chair of the UA Foundation's board of trustees and the current co-chair of the UA's Arizona NOW capital campaign, which aims to raise $1.5 billion, the largest fundraising campaign in the University's history.

Will Humble, UA Center for Population Science and Discovery

Will Humble has 25 years of experience working in the public health sector, with 20 of those working in various capacities within the Arizona Department of Health Services, where he most recently served as director.

In April, Humble took the position of division director for health policy and evaluation for the Center for Population Science and Discovery at the Arizona Health Sciences Center. The center rapidly is becoming the state's clearinghouse for identifying evidence-based solutions and best practices to improve population health and promote health equity throughout Arizona.

In 2010, then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer appointed Humble to direct the Arizona Department of Health Services. Leading one of the state's largest agencies, Humble oversaw about 2,000 employees and a budget of about $2 billion while leading the provision of essential services to the state's citizens.

The agency focuses on communicable disease control, public health emergency preparedness, emergency medical services and environmental health. The agency also is responsible for the licensing of health care and child care facilities, laboratory management and public health prevention programs.

Humble successfully led the statewide public health systems' response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and also served as Arizona's lead public health officer focused on issues surrounding Ebola. He also led the voter-approved medical marijuana program for the state.

With Humble leading the Arizona Department of Health Services efforts on public health, the agency improved the state's hospital and local health preparedness and special needs population readiness. The agency also initiated a public health volunteer coordination program and increased laboratory capacity.

Brenda Milner, Montreal Neurological Institute

Brenda Milner founded the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit of the Montreal Neurological Institute for the exploration of the anatomical basis of cognition. 

Milner is the Dorothy J. Killam Professor of Psychology, Montreal Neurological Institute, and Professor in the Department of Neurology & Neurosurgery, McGill University. 

Milner was born in Manchester, England, and received her bachelor's, master's and Doctor of Sciences degree in experimental psychology from the University of Cambridge. She also earned a doctorate in physiological psychology from McGill.

In 1944, Milner moved to Canada and taught for seven years at the University of Montreal before joining Wilder Penfield's group at the Montreal Neurological Institute in 1952.  She went on to publish landmark papers on memory, with William Scoville in 1957 and with Wilder Penfield in 1958. 

Milner is credited with introducing the concept of multiple memory systems in the brain, and her observations have stimulated an enormous body of research. 

Milner is a fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada and a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1984, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 2004. Also in 2004, she was awarded the prestigious Neuroscience Award from the U.S. National Academy of Science.

Betsy Bolding
P. Andrew and Mary Beth Groseta
Peter W. Salter
Sarah Smallhouse
Will Humble
Brenda Milner (Photo: Meera Paleja)

Extra info

The UA's 151st Commencement ceremony will be held May 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Arizona Stadium. More information about the ceremony is available online for 2015 graduates and also family members and other guests.


More information about the UA's spring Commencement ceremony and the convocation events is available online: