Foundation Board Chair 1996-1998
Growing up when Utah Valley University was still a vocational-technical school, Ron Dallin lived next door to Wilson Sorensen, who served as president of the school for 36 years. “He worked hard and put a lot energy and effort into making that school what it was,” says Dallin, who is delighted to see how far the school has progressed over the years. “It’s the university that kids are choosing, and it fills a wonderful need in our community.”
In the 1990s, Dallin’s friend Marlon Snow invited him to join the UVU Foundation Board (then the Utah Valley State College Foundation Board). Dallin had been supporting his alma mater, Brigham Young University, for years, but he quickly became a strong supporter of UVU. “I just fell in love with what was going on down at UVU. My heart certainly has a soft spot for it; it’s a wonderful place,” says Dallin.
During Dallin’s years on the Foundation Board, the board’s primary focus was to ramp up fundraising and to establish an endowment. To that end the Foundation carried out a fundraising campaign with a goal in the millions. “At the time, it was a very lofty goal. I thought, ‘Wow, can we really do this?’ But we reached out to the business people in the community,” says Dallin. The campaign was successful, raising about $4 million, and it also helped build relationships between the college and the community, an important accomplishment.
“We really did engage the business community around the valley, and they got behind us,” says Dallin. “One of the things that was fascinating to me at the time was how many people had similar feelings to mine—that this was a place where they could belong, a place they could feel a part of. They could feel like the help they gave was really appreciated and needed.”
After his term as Foundation Board chair concluded, Dallin joined the Board of Trustees, serving just as the college was working to achieve university status. He also was involved with the selection committee that hired President William A. Sederburg in 2003.
Two of Dallin’s sons have earned degrees at UVU. One majored in business management and now owns tanning salons in Utah and Salt Lake counties. “It was fun to talk to him about what was going on in his classes, as I was involved with the school at the time. He finished fairly quickly and had a wonderful time,” remembers Dallin. The other son recently completed a degree in aviation science and is working in the UVU School of Aviation Science while pursuing a degree in economics at the University. Several nieces and nephews of Dallin’s are also attending UVU.
“I’m excited about the University and where it’s headed. One of the things I’m so impressed with is the quality of the education students are getting. The class sizes are small, and the close relationships with professors are a real benefit. That’s one of the things UVU does well,” says Dallin.
Dallin enjoys attending the annual breakfasts of the past Foundation Board chairs because of the good memories they bring back. “You knew at the time it was wonderful, but as you get a little older and you’re a little less involved with it, you kind of think, ‘Wow, that was really a special time,’” he says. At last year’s breakfast he discovered that he knew the grandparents of the Foundation ambassador receiving the Ron Dallin Scholarship—they had lived just around the corner from him many years ago. “I knew her dad really well, so that was a fun connection.”
When Dallin meets student ambassadors, he is always impressed by how grateful they are for the educational experience they’re getting at UVU and how well they represent the University. “It’s really impressive to think that they can get out of their own way long enough to really look at the good of the University,” he says. “Most of us are so wrapped up in what we’re doing that we don’t often have time to focus on the bigger picture.”
Today Dallin is involved with commercial properties, including several InstaCare facilities and a couple of luxury rentals near Sundance. “I don’t plan to retire. I’m going to keep slugging and see what happens. The future’s brighter if you get up and keep working,” he says.