UVU’s travel through time: Part 2

This photo, taken in 1979, shows the school’s humble beginnings. On the right is what is now the Gunther Trade building, in the middle, Sparks Automotive and on the left, Woodbury Business. Courtesy of Wilson Sorenson Photo Archives

Now, continuing from last week, this article takes a look through time to see how UVU has developed into a campus that is just embarking into a new realm of possibilities.

In the previous article looking at the history of UVU, the school went from a small technical school just north of BYU with eight classes to moving its base of operations to the Orem campus.

In 1971 the school was approved for building the campus on a 50 acre piece of land which it had received two years before. Over the course of the following years the school would grow to 185 acres.

Officials expected that with this amount of land, which is roughly the same amount available today, the school could accommodate up to 16,000 students.

In 1972, a plan for the building of the Orem campus was presented. The following year the school was approved to spend $8 million on the building of campus. Finally in 1974 the master plan was approved for building to begin.

On March 3, 1975, ground was broken and the state then gave the school an additional $9.5 million for building and landscaping.

The dedication of the campus was on March 14, 1977, with the dedicatory address given by Spencer W. Kimball, then president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

At the dedication, the only buildings open were the Business building, now the BA building, the Auto Trades, now the SA building, the student center and the heating plant, which was built where the CS building is now. Later in the year, the institute building was also opened and dedicated.

By 1979, the Learning Resource Center, LC, and the Trades building, now the GT building, were opened.

In 1982, President Sorenson retired and J. Marvin Higbee took over as the third president. In 1987, with growth to the school the name was changed again to Utah Valley Community College. The following year Kerry D. Romesburg took over as president.

The continuing growth over the following years included the first set of four-year degrees offered in 1992. The degrees were Business Management, Computer Science and Information Systems and Technology Management.

As enrollment grew to over 10,000, the change from a community college to state college happened and UVCC became UVSC in 1993.

The next issue will address a lot of building across campus, university status and what is on the horizon.

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