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University of Utah Founders Day Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Awards

The University of Utah Office of Alumni Relations annually presents its Founders Day Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Awards to alumni for their outstanding professional achievements, public service, and/or commitment to the U.


Additionally, the Honorary Alumnus/a Award is presented to an individual who either did not attend the U or who went to the U for a brief time (a year or less) and who has contributed significantly to the advancement of the U through personal involvement, including donations, volunteer work, and/or other forms of support.


Presentation of the awards took place on Wednesday, March 30, at the U Alumni Founders Day Celebration at the Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House. These annual distinguished and honorary alumni awards, along with honorary degrees, are the highest honors awarded by the University of Utah.


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Congratulations Michael Bird!


Michael Bird BA’76 MSW’77 is a national public health policy consultant, specializing in Native health issues. Michael has more than 30 years of public health experience with Native American populations in the areas of medical social work, substance abuse prevention, health promotion and disease prevention, HIV/AIDS prevention, behavioral health, and healthcare administration. Michael was the first American Indian to serve on the National Policy Council of AARP and as president of the American Public Health Association in the organization’s history. He was also a former president of the New Mexico Public Health Association and was a fellow in the U.S.P.H.S. Primary Care Policy Fellowship Program. He has served on the boards of the Kewa Pueblo Health Corporation, American Indian Graduate Center, Bernalillo County Off Reservation Native American Commission, Health Action New Mexico, Seva Foundation, National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health Advisory Committee (Canada) and more. Michael has also served on the U’s College of Social and Behavioral Science Advancement Board since 2020, and was awarded the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award this year.