Different name, same great school

The past development of this institution has laid the foundation for today’s success.


This institution has frequently expanded to accommodate their growing numbers as they have always maintained a strong tradition of providing high demanda programs to students and community members. Even in their early days, the campus located in Provo was under construction. Photo Courtesy of Wilson W. Sorensen’s Photo Collection in Utah Valley University Archives

The school now known as Utah Valley University was founded in 1941, when a group of work programs and their associated communities banded together to create the Central Utah Vocational School.

The school that once taught community members valuable trade skills has now achieved university level status and broadened its scope to a wider range of academic focus.

Since its modest beginnings, the institution has had eight different names, developed six different campus locations and continues to offer core technical and vocational training.

In the early ‘60s it was called Utah Trade Technical Institute, and only four years later it became known as Utah Technical College at Provo.

It wasn’t until 1977 that the current campus location became the permanent home of the expanding school. When the college initially moved to Orem, the only buildings in place were the Sparks Automotive, Woodbury Business and a portion of the student center. The pastures and sand pit that preceded the campus gradually evolved into 48 buildings.

The change to Utah Valley Community College was followed by its most popular name change only six years later in 1993, when it became Utah Valley State College. This was only one year after the first bachelor’s degrees were offered. The three available were in Business, Technology Management and Liberal Arts.

In 2008, the institution became a university. Today, three high-demand master’s degrees are offered in Business Administration, Education and Nursing. There are also 21 certificate/diploma programs, 58 bachelor degrees and 66 associate degrees to choose from.

There have been many substantial changes throughout UVU’s history, from the days of providing metal fabrication and gunsmith training in the early 1940s through to today’s rapidly expanding options.

To facilitate community needs, the university has continually developed the main campus located in Orem, and also built several satellite campuses. These include the Wasatch Campus in Heber City, as well as off-campus sites like the Westlake Education Center located in Saratoga Springs.

UVU has maintained many of its traditions, such as being largely funded by the government and offering technical and vocational training programs. The history of UVU has laid the foundations for institutional, student and community success.

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