2018 Alumni Achievement Award Winners: Jeff and Sharon Stevens

Award bestowed at UA Commencement, May 11

Summer 2018
A photograph of UA President Robert C. Robbins, Sharon and Jeff Stevens, and Melinda Burke in graduation regalia

UA President Robert C. Robbins, Sharon and Jeff Stevens, and Melinda Burke

Jeff and Sharon Stevens met while they were University of Arizona students in the early 1980s. Since their student days, they have been quintessential Wildcats — proud ambassadors for the university, role models in their fields and generous philanthropic supporters. 

Sharon grew up in Tucson with deep family ties to the UA. Her grandfather had football season tickets, which have remained with her family for more than 80 years. Her father was the dentist for UA student-athletes and staff for nearly 40 years. 

Sharon graduated with dual degrees in accounting and management information systems. She continued in that field as a certified public accountant for a national tax accounting firm. Currently, she serves as the treasurer for the Board of Visitors, Arizona’s oldest women’s charitable organization, which is dedicated to the health care needs of women, children and the elderly.  

A native of Phoenix, Jeff has worked his entire career in the petroleum industry. In 2000, he became one of the founding partners of Western Refining Inc., where he recently served as chief executive officer. Western Refining is now Andeavor, which was purchased by Marathon Petroleum in April. Jeff is a member of the board of directors at Andeavor. He also serves on the board of directors for Vomaris Innovations Inc., a privately held medical device company. 

Jeff and Sharon have never lost their connection to the UA. As Jeff notes, “The University of Arizona has meant so much to Sharon and me and our families. It always will remain a very special place for us.” Jeff was part of the recent presidential search advisory committee and co-chaired the successful Arizona NOW campaign. He is passionate about the importance of strong relationships between the business sector, alumni and the university, and works to encourage community and alumni engagement. 

The Stevenses also are generous financial supporters of the university. In 2009, Jeff and Sharon committed the lead gift to launch the campaign for the north end zone facility at Arizona Stadium, now called the Lowell-Stevens Football Facility. The gift was the largest single donation to Arizona Athletics and among the largest in UA history. 

The Stevenses admire the donors who have been there for the UA, saying, “Clearly they have been very generous and have made a big difference to the university. They are role models for our generation.” They continue to support many needs throughout the university in ways that will benefit students for years to come.  

The Alumni Achievement Award, established in 1943, is the highest honor the UA Alumni Association can bestow upon alumni. For their dedicated service to and exceptional support of the university, the UA Alumni Association is proud to honor Jeff and Sharon Stevens with this award. They are a true Wildcat for Life family.

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