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2023 S.J. Quinney Award winner announced

Gregory C. Thompson, Ph.D., retired associate dean for Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library and the 2023 recipient of the S.J. Quinney Award for outstanding contributions to skiing:

The J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah announces the winner of the S.J. Quinney Award. Gregory C. Thompson (Greg), Ph.D., former associate dean for Special Collections at the Marriott Library, will receive this prestigious award at the library’s Ski Affair fundraising event on Oct. 25.

In 1989 Thompson and Sue Raemer (now deceased) co-founded the Marriott Library’s Ski and Snow Sports Archives, then known as the Utah Ski Archives. Since the 1950s skiing has been a passion for Thompson. Growing up in Durango, Colorado, Thompson skied and competed in Colorado and New Mexico.

An original member of the Alf Engen Ski Museum Foundation Board, Thompson’s passion for both the sport of skiing and archiving important materials came together in the creation of the Ski and Snow Sports Archives. Thompson has lectured widely and published numerous articles on the history of skiing in the Intermountain West. With Alan K. Engen, he co-wrote “First Tracks: A Century of Skiing” (2001) which focuses on the history of skiing in Utah.

The Quinney Award will be presented to Greg at this year’s Ski Affair on Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. at the Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House on the U campus. All proceeds benefit the Ski and Snow Sports Archives in Special Collections.

“I was fortunate to meet Greg through Sue Raemer at the inception of the Ski Archives. He’s been a pleasure to work with all these years,” said Barbara Yamada, chair of the Ski and Snow Sports Archives Board. “He has always amazed me as to how much he did and what he accomplished. To be selected by the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation to receive the S.J. Quinney award is well deserved and a credit to his many years of dedication to what the archives have accomplished.”

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About the Ski and Snow Sports Archives

The archives are one of the most comprehensive collections containing the history and development of Utah’s prospering winter sports industry. Researchers find materials on the history of ski competition on local, national and international levels; the founding of major resorts; snow safety and avalanche control; ski equipment; ski instruction; freestyle skiing; WWII’s 10th Mountain Division; back-country skiing and virtually every facet of winter sports in Utah and the surrounding region. The archives are also the repository for the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games Bid Committee records and the records of the 2002 games themselves.

At the archives’ founding, the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney Foundation recognized the importance of the project and provided critical seed funding. In 1993, the archives were incorporated into the newly established Joe Quinney Recreation Archives, which contain materials on river running, hiking clubs, mountaineering, climbing, and other outdoor activities. S.J. (Joe) Quinney was Utah’s ski industry’s pioneer who founded Alta Ski Area; he was also a founding partner of the law firm Ray, Quinney and Nebeker, where he practiced until he passed away at the age of 90. He and his wife Jessie were ardent supporters of the arts and culture in Utah.

Future additions of material and development of the Ski and Snow Sports Archives will continue to strengthen its importance as a repository of primary-source research materials. In addition to scholarly research on winter sports, these materials are valuable resources for research into skiing-related industries such as public relations, transportation, resorts and their amenities, equipment and clothing.