A Night of Celebration

PROVO, Utah – Apr 02, 2018 – With finals and graduation looming—and a pile of homework as tall as the Tanner Building to complete—BYU Marriott students are swamped. But that didn’t stop them from dressing up for a night of celebration.

Students, faculty, and alumni gathered at the Provo Marriott Hotel to honor the school’s achievements over the past year. Soft music played in the background as attendees dined and socialized with some of BYU Marriott’s best and brightest.

The focus of the night was the presentation of the Bateman Awards, the only schoolwide awards selected entirely by students. Students nominated their peers and professors who best exemplify the values of BYU Marriott. Cheers rang out as Merrill J. Bateman, former president of BYU and former dean of BYU Marriott, presented the awards.

This year, the Outstanding Undergraduate and Graduate Student Awards went to Sarah Lyman and Richard Bobo, respectively. Lyman is a finance senior from Biloxi, Mississippi, who serves as co-president of the Women in Finance club and as a member of the Investment Banking Club. Bobo, a second-year MBA student from Southern Pines, North Carolina, boasts accolades as a member of the United States Army, a BYU Marriott teaching assistant, and a Stoddard Scholar.

“I feel honored to be recognized by my peers,” Lyman says. “As I look around tonight, I see so many people who led me here. I wish each of them could have a piece of this award.”

Additionally, the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award was presented to Colby Wright, associate professor of finance and the finance undergraduate program director, for his dedication to the professional development of his students. The Global Supply Chain Association won the Outstanding Student Club/Organization Award for its facilitation of case competitions, workshops, and networking opportunities for students.

The winners of the Interdisciplinary Case Competition were also announced at the event. Students were tasked with finding solutions to bridge gaps between majors, genders, and ethnicities within BYU Marriott. Sixteen teams participated in this year’s competition. The winning team consisted of Jordan Oborn, a manufacturing engineering technology senior from Parker, Colorado; Joe Palazzo, a strategy senior from Southlake, Texas; and Tyler Reese, a strategy junior from Orem.

Following the presentation of the awards, Gavin Christensen addressed the audience, sharing his personal journey from college student to successful venture capitalist. Christensen graduated from BYU with a BA in economics in 1999 and received his MBA from Northwestern University in 2007. The following year, he founded Kickstart Seed Fund, the most active seed investor in Utah. In his remarks, Christensen advised students to maintain integrity, learn from trials, and work hard.

“As an entrepreneur, you have to keep trying when most people would stop,” Christensen says. “Hard work and grind beats genius all day long in the business world.”

The winners of the Bateman Awards pose with Merrill J. Bateman
Richard Bobo, Sarah Lyman, Merrill J. Bateman, Jayson Schooff, and Colby Wright pose with their Bateman Awards. (Photo by Ruthie Crofts)
The winners of the interdisciplinary case competition
Joe Palazzo, Jordan Oborn, and Tyler Reese celebrate their victory in the Interdisciplinary Case Competition. (Photo by Ruthie Crofts)

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Maggie Kuta