By Emiley Morgan
Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. signed Senate Bill 70 into law Monday, March 19, 2007, making possible Utah Valley State College”s transition to a university.
The bill was signed in front of a variety of UVSC supporters including students, staff and a veritable Who”s Who of Utah”s power players such as President Thomas S. Monson of the LDS Church, Utah Senate President John Valentine, philanthropist Ira Fulton and former BYU football coach LaVell Edwards.
UVSC turned the signing into a campus-wide celebration that included free pizza, ice cream, Utah Valley University T-shirts and balloons.
The celebration was led by UVSC President William Sederburg and included remarks from a variety of speakers ranging from UVSC Faculty Senate President Steve Clark to Utah House Rep. David Clark (R-Santa Clara) .
Rich Kendell, Utah Commissioner of Higher Education, spoke, as did many others, on the true collaborative effort that was required to make UVSC Utah Valley”s newest university.
“It”s been a wonderful process to watch through to this point,” Kendell said. “It”s an incredible investment in this institution and in higher education for the state of Utah. Utah Valley State College is emerging as an authentic university. I think you can lay claim to that and I think that all of your preparation and all of your work that has gone into this has put naysayers to the side, and I think it will certainly emerge over the next few years as an authentic university of higher education.”
President Monson, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said he fondly remembers attending the dedication in the ”70s, and Monday blessed the institution in its move forward.
“This is the place,” Monson said. “God bless you, and may the spirit of this institution be reflected in your conduct and in your lives, and may you remember that each one of you is known by your Heavenly Father. If you trust him, he will guide and direct you in all that you do, and then, not only will your future be bright, but all of those with whom you associate will be better persons and will have better futures because of you and those who made this institution possible.
“In the words of Tiny Tim from ”The Christmas Carol”: ”God bless us, everyone.””
The final speaker of the celebration was Huntsman who signed the bill immediately following his remarks. He spoke of the responsibility given to those who will carry the school forward as well as of the school”s potential.
“With the new designation, this institution will be better equipped to become the idea factory, the freedom factory, if you will,” Huntsman said. “Let us not forget that aside from all the learning that takes place and the professionalism, which we applaud this institution for, there is such a thing as a legacy of humanity, which we”re all here to celebrate. It means something different for all of us: It is humanity, it is ethics, it is understanding. That sense of humanity will be expected from this institution.”