“I think we are really coming into our own,” Holland said. “In terms of university quality level, it’s been happening all over the place. This really is a significant step forward for us. It’s a building that is worthy of a university and worthy of the high quality faculty that we have.”

– President Matthew Holland


UVU President Matthew S. Holland was presented with the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Rising Star Award on Jan. 27 at the chamber’s annual Installation and Awards Banquet that honors outstanding community members for their commitment to civic engagement. Val Hale, UVU vice president for university relations, was installed as the chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, and Steve Roy, UVU associate vice president for economic development, was named to the chamber’s general board.


During the 2011-2012 academic year, the UVU Board of Trustees welcomed new members Karen L. Acerson and Christopher Loumeau, UVU’s student body president. Greg Butterfield was also named the board’s new chair.


UVU received a seven-year, $26 million federal grant on Sept. 26 to continue the statewide GEAR UP education program that helps junior high and high school students graduate, prepare and pay for college.


On Aug. 11, UVU’s Facilities Department celebrated the opening of the new, 12,000-square foot facilities building constructed on the footprint of the previous structure.


On Aug. 11, UVU’s Facilities Department celebrated the opening of the new, 12,000-square foot facilities building constructed on the footprint of the previous structure.


UVU had it’s first visiting Fulbright scholar this semester, Hui Xu, scholar-in-residence from Nankai University in China. Hui is a noted academic in the fields of international business and marketing.


UVU named a Fulbright “top producer” by the Fulbright Program in 2011 for Jon Westover’s (assistant professor of business management) Fulbright scholar grant to teach MBA students at Belarussian State University beginning this summer and Ruhul Kuddus received a Fulbright scholar grant to lecture and conduct research at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh.


A newly-formed agreement between UVU and the Higher School of Economics in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, will allow for collaborative activities between the two universities beginning this summer, it was announced in December.


UVU digital media students in January turned a two-year venture involving more than 30 students into a 3-D animated short film “The Lizard and the Ladder,” that was submitted  to the both the student version of the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards and other film festivals. The film sets a new benchmark for UVU animation and for digital media students with an emphases in gaming and animation.


On Sept. 30, UVU’s Woodbury School of Business celebrated the 15th anniversary of the naming of the school’s home, the Woodbury Business Building, after F. Orin and Nina R. Woodbury.


UVU students won medals in 12 different competitions and placed second overall among competing universities and colleges at the 47th annual SkillsUSA national championship June 20-24 in Kansas City, Mo. UVU students won six gold, three silver and three bronze medals.


UVU’s 2011 President’s Scholarship Ball on Oct. 14 set a new benchmark for student scholarship with the announcement that the University had received $4 million in new scholarship donations and pledges since the previous year’s event.


Todd Leonard, UVU Culinary Arts assistant professor, was named Chef of the Year in the Western Region by the American Culinary Federation at a regional completion in May.


Students and faculty with UVU’s Department of Theatrical Arts garnered several top honors Feb. 11 during the 44th annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival hosted at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.


Civil rights leader Julian Bond, a former student activist and chairman of the NAACP, was the keynote speaker of UVU’s 18th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration on Jan. 19.


UVU students contributed to a report on sustainable mountain development in North America that will be presented at
the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development “Rio + 20” in Brazil in June 2012.


Faculty and tutors from the University College writing center at UVU joined forces with the Orem City Public Library on Feb. 10 to open a new public writing center that will benefit the entire Utah County community. It will provide residents and students with help in developing writing skills in a variety of areas.


After navigating dangerous waters on the March 2 episode of the hit ABC television series “Shark Tank,” UVU student entrepreneurs Dallas Robinson and Mike Buonomo hit paydirt with the their Kisstixx lip balm product by getting a $200,000 investment from Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire business mogul Mark Cuban.


The UVU Department of Theatrical Arts was invited in December to present its production of “Eurydice” at the 44th annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in February at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.


In October, graduate students enrolled in the first cohort of UVU’s MBA program announced a one-year partnership with the Provo-based non-profit Community Health Connect as the students’ community-engagement capstone. Community Health Connect seeks to provide medical and dental care for those who can’t afford it.


On Oct. 12, UVU, with a total headcount enrollment of approximately 33,400 for fall semester, became the largest institution in the Utah System of Higher Education and also the largest public institution in the state.


For the second straight year, a UVU student and former Miss UVU competed for the title of Miss America at the nationally televised pageant on Jan. 14 in Las Vegas, Nev. Danica Olsen, a junior speech communications major from Tooele, Utah, was named the winner of the “Lifestyle and Fitness” category and followed UVU student Christina Lowe, who represented Utah and UVU at the 2011 national competition.


In December, it was announced that UVU provides a return of $7.97 for every state dollar invested for an annual economic impact of $534 million, according to a study conducted by Jack Faucett Associates, Inc. UVU’s return on investment to the state’s economy has increased by 21 percent over the past five years.


Tyler Nelson, a member of the UVU Music Department faculty, performed the lead in the Nov. 225 and 27 productions of Gioachino Rossini’s “Barbiere di Siviglia” in Bejing, China.


On May 20, Martin Frey, a member of the Woodbury School of Business’ National Advisory Council, summited Mt. Everest, the planet’s highest peak, and posted a UVU flag there. That flag is now displayed outside President Matthew S. Holland’s office.


Also in 2011, Financial Planning Magazine named the UVU Woodbury School of Business’ bachelor’s degree in personal financial planning program among the top 10 in the country.


UVU hosted a ribbon-cutting on Oct. 28 for well-known artist and sculptor Gary Lee Price as he began work on a second phase of his Statue of Responsibility project. Price will conduct an one-year, on-campus studio in the Losee Center for Student Success to produce a 15-foot clay exact replica of the sculpture’s prototype. Ultimately, Price hopes to raise $300 million to erect a 300-foot, full scale version of the statute to be located somewhere on the American west coast as a bookend to the iconic Statue of Liberty in New York City.


Sam Rushforth, dean of UVU’s College of Science & Health, was featured in January in short film documentary, “The Diatom,” about the botanist’s four decades of research on a microscopic organism called the diatom, that debuted an official selection of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.


In September, UVU finalized the purchase of 100 acres of land from Anderson Geneva Development Inc. The plot is part of the 1,700-acre redevelopment site of the former Geneva Steel mill in the town of Vineyard, about 2.3 miles from UVU’s Orem Campus. About half of the property will house new intramural field with the other half being used for future building needs.


Actor and comedian Jason Alexander, best known for his role as George Costanza on “Seinfeld,” was at UVU Feb. 27-29
presenting acting workshops to School of the Arts students. He also presented An Evening with Jason Alexander to the public the night of Feb. 28.


In early September, UVU President Matthew S. Holland announced the creation of a Center for Constitutional Studies. The initial 5-year launch of the center was made possible by generous anonymous contributions totaling $1 million from two Utah business leaders.


In August, UVU became the first institution of higher learning  in the state of Utah to provide downloadable iTunes U public access academic content to students, employees and the general public.


The UVU Board of Trustees announced in January the selection of educator and author Erin Gruwell as the keynote speaker for the University’s 71st Commencement on April 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the UCCU Center.


For the sixth year running, the Corporation for National and Community Service has recognized UVU for its support of volunteerism, civic engagement and service learning. The organization also place UVU on its Honor Roll with Distinction for the second straight year — an honor bestowed on only 110 U.S. institutions of higher learning.


Jenaye Renshaw, a UVU student majoring in music, took home top honors in January in the solo horn competition at the Southwest Horn Conference held at Paradise Valley College in Prescott, Ariz.


Elder Quest, a lifetime education program for those ages 55 and up and a UVU partner, announced in July that it had raised funding at its spring seminar to provide 18 scholarships to non-traditional UVU students.


UVU First Lady Paige Holland hosted the University’s first Women’s Leadership Spring Luncheon on March 21 that focused on developing solutions to encourage more women to complete higher education degrees.


Gov. Gary Herbert spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the grand opening of UVU’s new Business Resource Center with President Matthew S. Holland and area leaders on Jan. 6. The center will serve as a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs and businesses in Utah, Summit and Wasatch counties, offering a variety of services that capitalize on its access to resources,
programs and activities provided by UVU faculty, staff and students.


During an official signing ceremony on July 13 at the state capitol with Gov. Gary Herbert, UVU formalized cooperative ties with Qinghai Normal University in western China. President Matthew S. Holland signed a memorandum of agreement that will lead to student and faculty exchanges between both universities.