The statue of David O. McKay standing in front of the McKay Events Center at Utah Valley State College commemorates President David O. McKay for his knowledge and virtue.
Sculptor Ortho Fairbanks, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the quorum of the twelve apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Alan Ashton, as a representative of the McKay family, unveiled the bronze statue Friday morning.
Ballard, the first introduced to address the audience, said he is “delighted to see the statue honor the prophet of yesteryear.”
Fairbanks, the only sculptor for whom McKay posed for a portrait bust, spoke about his masterpiece. He said about McKay: “His deep, penetrating eyes; large, farm boy hands; tall, erect stature; all help tell his story.”
The story Fairbanks related to the students, family members and civic leaders began with a description of the Golden Age of Greece and then a comparison of that era to our present-day.
Fairbanks said, “the Discobolus, or the discus thrower is an example of their (Greek) sculpture.”
The Ancient Greeks may have had different ideals than what we have today, but Fairbanks said our definition of ‘beauty’ as described in Webster’s Dictionary remains the same.
He said “beauty is the highest degree of pleasure to the senses and as the five senses are cultivated the richer and more full our lives become.”
“David O. McKay’s life was a beautiful masterpiece,” Fairbanks said.
Dave Robinson, a business major at UVSC, said, “I’ve never been to something like this — it’s an honor.”
UVSC President, Kerry D. Romesburg, praised Fairbanks for his work. He said, “we hope our students will emulate David O. McKay’s appreciation of education and serving humanity.”
As the ceremony closed Romesburg invited the audience to step up to the statue and read, to the right of the statue, about McKay’s history.
The inscription written under the statue by McKay reads:
“Education: America’s most precious asset, her greatest safeguard, her most important most potentially profitable enterprises.”
Michelle Pettit, a communications major at UVSC said she appreciated the ceremony given and said about the statue, “It is a good symbol for the campus.”
COMMANDING PRESENCE: Students and community leaders gathered Friday at Utah Valley State College for the unveiling of a statue of President David O. McKay in honor of his church service and contributions to education. President McKay posed for only one sculptor — the artist who completed this statue