Keith and Melisa Nellesen

Keith and Melisa Nellesen offered a generous leading gift to jumpstart Utah Valley University’s plans for an autism center. The gift is being recognized in the naming of the Melisa Nellesen Autism Program, which will be housed in the Cole Nellesen Autism Building.

Hurst Wood Education Foundation

A generous gift from J. Brent and Kathryn Pryor Wood will make possible the Clear Horizons Academy Second Floor in Utah Valley University’s autism center. The second floor will feature a flexible space for training and community engagement, including sensitivity training for educators, first responders, and community members. Another program will introduce business leaders and managers to practices that help individuals with autism to thrive in the workplace.


Vivint, a leading provider of smart home technology, has donated funding for two sensory room suites in UVU’s autism center, and Vivint CEO Todd Pedersen and his wife, Andrea, are personally funding the pre-kindergarten classroom. “Vivint is 100 percent committed to supporting children with autism,” said Pedersen. “This an opportunity for our entire community to come together to care for these dedicated and often-overlooked families.” Casey Baugh, a vice president of sales at Vivint, and his wife, Chelsea, are funding the Casey and Chelsea Baugh Classroom.


A gift from dōTERRA will fund two playgrounds outside UVU’s autism center. The adjoining, shaded playgrounds will help pre-kindergarten and first through third graders to enhance motor skills and to engage in science exploration while they learn to interact socially with one another. The space will feature sensory landscaping, a learning garden, and a water table. Aromatic plants will be a beautiful addition to the space while also representing dōTERRA.

Naming Opportunities at the Center

Naming opportunities are still available in the Cole Nellesen Autism Building.