Rodney Brady, Weber State University’s 17th president, died the night of Jan. 9 in his Salt Lake City home. He was 83.
As a high school student, Brady wrote a list of goals that included the ascension to the highest office of an organization. When WSU called on him in the spring of 1978 to apply for presidency, he reviewed his list and decided to leave the business world.
“I am fascinated with the process of transforming ideas into useful, economically justifiable products and services,” Brady said in a 1980 interview with Weber State College’s Oral History Program. “And I’m thrilled with the success of the free enterprise system. However, I’m also excited about the process and value of transferring skill, knowledge, understanding and wisdom from one generation to another, from teacher to student and in providing an environment — conditions, facilities and equipment — that enables a student to develop intellectual discovery.”
Brady was appointed to the presidency on June 11, 1978, and for the next seven years in office, the enrollment and donations to the university increased. In 1982, the J. Willard Marriott Family Foundation contributed $1 million, which led to the construction of the Marriott Allied Health building.
“This institution is here for the students — no question about that. Our primary responsibility is to see students that attend here … receive the finest education they could possibly get,” Brady said in 1978 during an interview with The Signpost, according to a press release.
Brady served the university for seven years, submitting his resignation in March of 1985. He became president of Bonneville International a few months afterward and regularly attended university commencement ceremonies and presented at the Ralph Nye Lecture Series after his tenure.
Honoring his legacy, the university created the Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor Program. Since 2006, it’s been awarded to 29 faculty members who displayed superior qualities.
“President Brady’s belief in humanity and his commitment to outstanding teaching left a lasting impression on this university,” current WSU President Chuck Wight said in a press release. “We will miss his kindness and wisdom, and we will work to ensure that his legacy will live on in Weber State’s commitment to excellence.”
Brady received his MBA in accounting from the University of Utah in 1957 and later his Ph.D. from Harvard. He served as the assistant secretary for administration and management of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in the Nixon administration, and as president and CEO of Deseret Management Corp. from 1996–2009.
Brady’s funeral service will be held at the Federal Heights Ward Building on 1300 East Fairfax Road, Salt Lake City, UT, on Jan. 21 at 11 a.m. Viewings will be held at Larkin Mortuary on 260 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT, on Jan. 20 from 6–8 p.m., and one hour prior to the funeral service at the Federal Heights Ward Building. Interment will be at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Brady is survived by wife, Carolyn “Mitzi,” and sons Howard, Ryan and Brooks.