The Syrett family—owners and operators of Ruby’s Inn, located near Bryce Canyon—received a Distinguished Service Award from Southern Utah University.

The award was presented during the university’s annual Founders Celebration, which was held March 20-24. The family was given the award for its service efforts and engagement in the communities of Garfield County and SUU.

“Southern Utah University is proud to recognize the Syrett family for its uncommon warmth and hospitality in welcoming people from all over the world to Garfield County and Bryce Canyon,” said Mindy Benson, vice president of alumni and community relations. “The Syrett family and SUU share a common link as each was built by courageous and hardworking pioneers who expand the horizons of others and have succeeded in the face of daunting barriers.”

The Founders Celebration is held by SUU every March to pay tribute to those who made sacrifices to establish the university and also celebrates those who are now making contributions to continue building the institution.

In connection with other service efforts, one way the Syrett family is contributing to SUU is through its involvement in a program called, “Semester in the Parks.” This program allows students from SUU to spend an entire semester studying in Bryce Canyon National Park while working at Ruby’s Inn, enabling them to gain hands-on experience. Students in the program earn 15 college credits through general education and selected major courses, which consists of classes from experienced faculty who are on-site at the park. Complete program details can be found at

“The Syrett family has long been our valued and cherished partner as Ruby's Inn has provided wonderful employment opportunities for our students, and annually hosts our students as part of SUU's Semester in Parks program,” Benson said.

In addition, Benson emphasized that Ruby’s Inn has been a significant proponent of improving the visitor experience at Bryce Canyon through its guest donation program and has been a force for good in the economy of Garfield County, southern Utah and the state of Utah.

“We are honored to be among those awarded by SUU,” said Lance Syrett, general manager at Ruby’s Inn. “Each member of the Syrett family loves giving back to the community, and we are grateful to know that our efforts are making a difference. We don’t serve to be recognized or receive awards; we do it because it is the right thing to do.”

For more information on SUU’s Founders Celebration, visit To learn more about the Syrett family, visit