10 by 10

We talk to 10 alumni donors who graduated 10 years ago

Stephanie Balzer and Jeffrey Javier

For the fifth year in a row, the University of Arizona Foundation and the UA Alumni Association have teamed up to present 10 by 10, highlighting 10 UA alumni who graduated 10 years ago and who have demonstrated a commitment to giving back. Join us as we get to know the 2015 10 by 10 honorees and what makes them tick. 

Honorees are chosen because of their history of philanthropic giving and engagement. As a whole, they represent a broad range of experiences and identities. 

Alumni and donors contribute to the University in a variety of ways. They serve on advisory boards, share their career expertise as guest speakers in classrooms, and recruit UA graduates to their companies — but giving financially is a specific type of commitment.

Considering this, we began to ask what commonalities inspire philanthropy among all 50 of our 10 by 10 donors, past and present. Do they hold similar values or beliefs? Were their college experiences alike? 

Is their generosity the result of financial success? 

From these questions, we observed some trends among the 50 individuals celebrated over the past five years. 

What do the 50 10 by 10 honorees have in common? Here are the top five trends:

1. They maintain an attitude of gratitude. Our 10 by 10 honorees all recall their college experience with gratitude, remaining thankful for the quality experiences, education, career opportunities, friendships, and personal growth they attained.

2. They bonded with the UA and their fellow Wildcats. Those who give back connected to their peers, mentors, and professors, forging lifelong friendships and, sometimes, even meeting the person they’d eventually marry. They also bonded to the UA outside of the classroom — as sports fans, through volunteering or clubs, in student government or the marching band, or through travel abroad. The UA provided them a rich life experience, not just an education.

3. They have a family history of giving. The vast majority of the 10 by 10 honorees cite a family tradition of philanthropy as an inspiration for giving back — their parents or grandparents served as models, whether by giving to their church or synagogue, to nonprofits, or to the UA. Philanthropy is embraced as a part of their cultural and family identity.

4. They understand the power of philanthropy. Whether they received a scholarship or participated in a program made possible by a donor, these individuals understand the role that private funds play in supporting higher education. They also are empathetic to today’s students who are striving to complete school and build lives, too.

5. They aren’t waiting to get rich before giving back. 10 by 10 donors are from all walks of life, in careers with a variety of earning potential. While all are successful, they’re not waiting to achieve great wealth before becoming philanthropists. They give what they can now.


Patricia Grant, Phoenix
Agricultural Economics & Management, B.S.  |  Senior Relationship Manager, Rabo AgriFinance 

A UA childhood: "Thanks to my dad, who had a closet full of red and blue, I was raised a Wildcat fan watching Arizona basketball, football, and softball."   

Why agriculture?: "I grew up in Willcox, where I worked on a ‘you pick’ farm and helped out on a few ranches. I rode horses and was a member of rodeo clubs. I was also active in FFA in high school."

Favorite UA professor: "My adviser, Paul Wilson, a professor of agricultural resource economics. He advocated for me as I entered the career field and keeps in touch to see how I’m doing."

Why do you give back?: "The UA is a part of me because I would not have the career I have today without the support of faculty who cared about me." 

On goals: "Set goals that align with who you are rather than getting caught up in the expectations of others." 


Shelley Huff, Bentonville, Arkansas
Retailing and Consumer Sciences, B.S.  |  Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager, Wal-Mart

On hiring Wildcats: “The UA is one of the best places to recruit talent. I helped launch the careers of more than 15 UA graduates who are making profound differences in the U.S. and global economies today.” 

Secret to success: “Have a passion for what you do. I am one of the lucky people who found a career in a company I love.” 

Why do you give back?: “The UA represents integrity, excellence, fellowship, and strength across Arizona. I want to ensure it is among the finest universities in the world.” 

No place like home: “I have spent the last 10 years traveling around the world, but have yet to find a place I love as much as Tucson and the UA.”

Best buy at Wal-Mart: “My boxer Madge is obsessed with Dingo dog treats. She goes through about two bags a week, so the dog treat aisle is a regular stop for me.”


Victor and Lorraine Florez,Tucson
Victor: Optical Sciences and Engineering, B.S.  |  Engineer, Raytheon
Lorraine: Journalism, B.A.  |  Host and Producer, Arizona Week, Arizona Public Media

How did you meet?: “There was a party at a mutual friend’s house and I met Lorraine there for the first time. We hit it off immediately and have been together 
ever since.”

On finding his career: “I took a freshman optics colloquium that exposed me to lasers, telescopes, and fiber optics. It introduced me to a discipline I did not know existed but that impacts every facet of our daily lives.” 

Her revelation: “I was born and raised along the border in Douglas and the UA gave me the culture shock I needed to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” 

On parenting: “Read books to your children every night.”  

Why do you give back?: “The UA has given us so much: an education, friendships, personal and professional connections, and, best of all — each other.”


Bradley Hauert, Denver
Finance and Entrepreneurship, B.S. | Finance, M.S. | Director of Finance, Frontier Airlines

Growing up a Wildcat: “From an early age, the UA has been a part of my life. I attended football games in the youth-only Knothole section, participated in the Lute Olson Basketball Camp, and worked with a UA scientist as part of a high school science project.” 

Legacy: Bradley’s grandfather, Samuel Hauert, 89, is one of the longest current UA football season ticket holders.

Why do you give back?: “A desire to repay the UA for providing me scholarships for a free college education.”  

Recent hobby: “In April, I ran in the Boston Marathon on behalf of the Newton, Mass., 9/11 Memorial Committee.”

Career inspiration: “The Semester at Sea program, [a 100-day voyage visiting several international destinations], provided a unique opportunity to leave home and experience other cultures. That experience and my internship at the Air Transportation Stabilization Board led me to a career in aviation.” 


Melody Jordahl-Iafrato, Tucson
Doctor of Medicine  |  Assistant Professor, Family and Community Medicine  |  Program Director, the University of Arizona College of  Medicine at South Campus Family Medicine Residency

Unique UA experience:  “In medical school I served communities in Tanzania, and learned vital skills for practicing medicine in rural Arizona and for teaching future physicians at the UA.”

Why do you give back?: “By supporting the University, I am in some way helping someone else fulfill their dreams.”

Childhood dream: “I wanted to be an archaeologist because I loved the idea of discovering old things.”  

On perseverance: “You will hit rough patches in your life, but going with the flow and pushing forward will make the difference.” 

Supporting the community: “I volunteer at the Amy Shubitz Family Clinic every few weeks and provide free preventive and primary care to members of the Tucson community.”  


Brett Fera, Oro Valley
Journalism & Communication, B.A.  |  MBA  |  Interim Director, Arizona Student Media

Best UA sunset: “The roof of the Cherry Avenue Garage, with views of Arizona Stadium, McKale Center, the Main Library, Bear Down Field, and the UA Mall — very few semisecluded spots capture everything on this campus.”

Why do you give back?: “The incredible experiences I had as a student, both as an undergraduate and then in returning for my MBA some years later.” 

Careers at their alma mater: “My wife and I call the UA ‘home’ for our careers. Driving to and from campus together, we embrace the excitement and student energy each day.”

Finding balance: “My wife, Lindsey, is a bit of a gym rat, so we both have staff memberships to the Student Recreation Center. It’s changed so much since we were in school!”


J. Clayton Condon, Houston
Mechanical Engineering, B.S.  |  Production & Projects Manager, ExxonMobil

Building a life: “Stay busy, work hard, and always learn new things.”

UA artifact: “It’s showing its age, but I still have my ZonaZoo T-shirt that I pull out to wear when I watch Arizona basketball.”

Why engineering?:  “I always had an interest in taking things apart and figuring out how they worked.”

Hopes for the UA: “I’m excited to see the growth of interdisciplinary programs involving engineering and science, and entrepreneurship and engineering. These programs will give today’s students the skills and experiences they need to succeed.”

Why do you give back?: “I was fortunate to receive scholarships while in school, which allowed me to focus on my education and broaden my experiences.”

Unexpected Wildcat sighting: “Doha, Qatar — where I lived.”


Joshua Schlag, Phoenix
Computer Science, B.S.  |  MBA  |  Director of Marketing and Digital Technology, SocialWhirled

Secret to success: “Persistence. From having to retake a course or two, to publishing a weekly podcast for over three years and never missing a week, to literally hanging out at SocialWhirled until they finally hired me.”

A podcast about ...: “Pro wrestling, called The Steel Cage. As a fan for over 20 years, I’ve found an outlet to share my love for it and make friends from around the world — from England to Australia to Dubai.”

Returning to the UA: “I enrolled in the Eller MBA program to learn how business works. Eller helped take me in a different direction and I found it hard to go back to my software development job.”

Why do you give back?: “The great sports atmosphere and all the wonderful friends I’ve made. I can travel to any major city in the country and find Wildcat friends — and I love that!”


David Hazan, Tucson
Finance, Business Economics, and Entrepreneurship, B.S.  |  Co-founder and CEO, Down for the Count

Entrepreneurial role model: “Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They created something that changed the world. What those guys developed inspires me.” 

On taking risks: “I left my job in Chicago and relocated to Tucson to build and launch the mobile app Down for the Count, which helps prevent the dangerous habit of texting while driving by rewarding users who don’t use their phones while driving.” 

Idea of perfect happiness: “Surrounded by family and friends on a rainy day, reminiscing and telling hilarious stories of the past — many from our times at the UA.”

Why do you give back?: “To help give others an enriching college experience like I had.”


Joel Alley, Tucson
Theatre Arts and Creative Writing, B.A.  |  Vice President, West Point Contractors, Inc.

On the family business: “I never thought I would be running the family construction company, but I’m proud to have helped it grow over the last eight years.”

Applying your degree: “Lighting design is a passion and I continue to do it today for some of the building renovation contracts and with local performing arts groups.”  

Why do you give back?: “The UA plays an important role in contributing to a healthy economy, especially by preparing the next generation of business and community leaders.”

Unique UA experience: “A summer study abroad in Orvieto, Italy. One of my favorite memories was Patrick Baliani, an Honors College professor, teaching us some Italian so we could have a better experience in the country.”

Recent hobby: “Rock climbing on Mount Lemmon and mountain biking with my pup.”