What’s in a name?

As people enter the first level of the library on the east side, they cannot miss the massive oil-painting mural that graces the stair-side wall.

This artwork has a name, “The UVU Story.” With a simple title, the artwork summons UVU’s 34 years of history of excellence and growth.

The mural was painted by Robert Barnum, a Michigan artist who has received more than 35 awards in national and international competitions. He was named Michigan’s Artist of the Year in 2003.

Barnum’s piece for UVU features many different aspects of the school. In the mural, Barnum portrays ballroom dancers, aviation workers, nurses, athletes, scientists, computer techs, musicians and tradespersons. The background of the piece is set with mountains and a lake, depicting UVU’s natural surroundings.

“It’s about the change and energy of the school,” said Barnum of his artwork. When comparing UVU to other universities, Barnum said UVU is a classic example of the atmosphere a university should have.

Barnum is an associate professor of art at Ferris State University, where former UVU president Sederburg had worked as president before coming to UVU. Barnum said that he and Sederburg were going to have a student competition to name the artwork, but this did not happen, and hence it was given the name “The UVU Story.”

Although its name is simple, the graceful mural symbolizes UVU’s progress and success and is displayed in the most appropriate place, the new library.

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