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Sidney Simonson recognized for character

April 20, 2009

On April 18, the CSU Alumni Association held a ceremony to celebrate the 2009 Distinguished Alumni award recipients including the winner of the 2009 Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award. The award is named after the Colorado State University's 12th President, Dr. Albert C. Yates and recognizes a graduating undergraduate student whose leadership, academic achievement, community service, and commitment to excellence have significantly contributed to the success of Colorado State University.

Character over strength

Sidney Simonson, a senior in the College of Business, has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award for his outstanding academic performance and continuous efforts to impact his community.

“I am very proud and honored to receive this award. I have been told that I need to promote myself more and let people know how much I try to do. It is nice to be singled out and recognized. I try to do my best every day I am dedicated to constant self improvement. Strength does not win races, energy does not win races. Character is the one thing that puts you right over the top,” Simonson says.

Do it right and finish strong

Simonson has an impressive seven-page word document, filled from top to bottom with activities he has participated in and awards received from 2000 to the present.

“I woke up a few years ago and I realized that I was closer to 40 than I was to 30. That realization combined with a set of unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances inspired me to return to college. I resigned from my job that I had held for over 17 years - which I started when I was a teenager - I sold my condominium, and I moved closer to campus. I made a decision that if I was going to finish college, I was going to do it right,” Simonson says.

Busy, busy

From 2000 to 2003, Simonson won Employee of the Decade, of the Century, and of the Millennium for Advantage Rent-A-Car. He’s worked and been appointed numerous jobs in Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins. He does volunteer work to raise food, toys, books, and money for eight different charities. At Colorado State, Simonson is a member of seven academic and service honor societies and holds executive positions in four. All of this while maintaining a 3.7 GPA.

His recent accomplishments include:

  • 2009 Institute of Managerial Accountants’ Top Colorado Student award
  • 2009 President Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award
  • 2008 Colorado State University Pacesetter Award
  • 2008 Colorado State University Police Department Appreciation Award

“My family and friends do not really know the extent of my school and volunteer work. They each know about different parts of it and if they ever compared notes, they might be surprised at how much I try to do. I basically gave up sleep about 3 years ago…really,” says Simonson.

Graduation and beyond

Simonson will graduate in May with a Bachelor's of Science degree in accounting. He will be going into the accounting field upon graduation and his plans after gradation look just as impressive.

“I was fortunate enough to receive a record setting 13 employment offers from accounting firms, including from Big 4 accounting companies. I plan on pursuing a Master's of Business Administration and/or a Master's of Accountancy after graduating. I will also work towards becoming a certified public accountant and a certified management accountant. Most importantly, I will continue to do volunteer work in whatever community that I land in. I have been approached by ‘the powers that be’ to run for various elected offices but that is not in my immediate future.”


More on the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Contact: Anh Ha
Phone: (970) 491-4161