Alumni Award of Excellence presented to Dean and Paula Sorenson

November 12, 2012

Writer: Robert Sullivan

Dean and Paula Sorenson received the Alumni Award of Excellence from the Brigham Young University-Idaho Emeritus Alumni Association on Saturday, November 10. The award was presented at the Fall Emeritus Breakfast by Henry J. Eyring, vice president of advancement at BYU-Idaho.

Dean started working at Ricks College in 1967 as a teacher of psychology and also helped out at the Counseling Center. Soon after, he started working with the faculty and serving in administrative positions. Paula's days were kept busy as she took care of the children, fulfilled various church callings, and attended classes at Ricks. Dean and Paula were called to preside over the Illinois Peoria Mission in 1995. Dean returned to Ricks after his mission to teach religion for a couple of years before retiring. 

Later, Dean and Paula were called to Hong Kong to serve as welfare agents in the Asia Area. Paula was called to be president of the International District Relief Society and supervisor of Seminaries and Institutes. When they returned, they were called as counselor and matron assistant in the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple presidency. Their fourth mission was in England as president of the MTC in Preston. Their most recent mission was in Manila, Philippines where Dean served as the executive secretary and Paula handled missionary applications.

Paula was born in Long Beach, California and grew up in Palm Springs. She was a sophomore when she and Dean met at BYU. Dean was born in Malad, Idaho and grew up in Pocatello. He entered the Army after graduating high school and served a mission in England. He attended Idaho State University for two years and later transferred to BYU. He graduated with a doctorate in education psychology and she earned her bachelor's degree with a dual major in elementary education and home development and family relations. They were married in the Los Angeles California Temple in 1963. Dean and Paula are the parents of six children and the grandparents of 30 grandchildren. 

The Alumni Award of Excellence and Distinguished Emeritus Service Award have been awarded to graduates of Ricks College and BYU-Idaho who have led exemplary lives since their time at school. The award was established in 1967.