This archived article was written by: Shala Pitchforth
“My life is an open book. If someone can find hope and inspiration from my past I am happy to share,” expressed Becky Archibald, the director of USU-CEU dining services. Her extraordinary, difficult, triumphant and interesting life has led her to be a successful, charitable woman.
After starting as a cook at CEU, Archibald is now one of the best assets at USU-CEU and was awarded staff member of the year for the second time last year.
Becky Archibald was raised in the Salt Lake area and attended Jordan High School. “I am a fourth generation Beat Digger,” she laughed. “My great grandma, grandma, and mom were all graduates of Jordan High school.” After high school, Archibald attended Southern Utah University, which at the time was SUSC (Southern Utah State College).
In order to pay for her education, Archibald worked two jobs as a hotel maid and cake decorating. She graduated with a degree in early child development. “I was going to be a teacher, but after my fourth child, there was no way!”
For eight years, Archibald was a single mother of six children, all under the age of nine. As a single mother, she had to be strong for her children. “I had to do it, I had no choice.”
In a trying time of her life, Archibald lost custody of her children and turned to alcohol. But her concern for others led Archibald to overcome her addiction. “One of my close friend’s two-year-old son came over at nine in the morning. I asked him what he wanted for breakfast; he said a rum and coke. At that moment I knew I had to change what I was doing. I didn’t want my kid to think that it is ok and acceptable.”
She has been able to refrain from the addiction of alcohol for nine years. “Once in awhile, I will still have a drink, but I never get drunk and when I have had enough, I pour it down the drain.”
Though Becky Archibald has overcome and achieved many things, her proudest accomplishment is watching Downtown Alive grow and flourish. Downtown Price is a project to revitalize historical Price, Utah. “It all started with one small meeting. After my husband died, I quit; but I am very happy to see that it continues.”
Because of her efforts, Archibald was awarded the Visionary Service Leader Award by Price City in 2004.
One of Becky Archibald’s greatest qualities is her ability to accept all people. Maddi Hind, a frequent diner at the USU-CEU dining services, stated, “I think it would take an incredible amount of patience and understanding to have so many international students employed at the cafeteria.
The language and culture barrier would be hard for anyone to work with and I have so much respect that Becky gives them the opportunity to work.” Archibald said that a quarter of her employees are international students. “Many don’t speak the best English, but if you show them what you want once they will do it forever. They are very hard workers.”
Archibald is a strength and inspiration to all who are around her. If she could give advice to students who are struggling, she would say, “Students who are struggling are just lost. They don’t know what to do or where they are going. I would tell them just do the best you can today. I have many students who knock on my door sometimes just because they need a hug or need to talk. I am here for anyone.”