UVU Scholarship Ball — 25 Years Supporting Students

UVU's First Scholarship Ball

In 1991, former Utah Valley University President Kerry Romesburg recognized the great need for scholarships. The UVU Foundation was still young and didn't have much income left over to fund them. President Romesburg asked Foundation Board Chair Bill Anderson if there was another way to raise money for scholarships.

Anderson tossed out the idea of a social event that would raise money through ticket sales. "Why don't we make it the event of the year for Utah Valley? Make it a black-tie event and call it the Presidential Scholarship Ball," said Anderson.

A committee of couples was assembled to organize the ball, chaired by Anderson and his wife, Norma. They managed to get the food and the band donated. Norma took care of the decorations for the venue—what is now UVU's Centre Stage—and the committee got busy selling tickets. The ball brought in $30,000 in ticket sales plus a surprise check from a committee member. During the evening, Romesburg had tucked the check into his shirt pocket without looking at it. As he was leaving the ball with Anderson, he pulled it out. It was for $100,000.

Award-Winning Entertainment and Gourmet Food

Utah Regional Ballet and UVU Symphony perform at the 25th Annual Scholarship Ball

The ball has continued to transform since its humble beginning. Soon after, the UVU Symphony began playing. Other award-winning music and dance performers, such as the UVU Ballroom Dance Team and the Utah Regional Ballet, later joined.

In 1995, the ball partnered with UVU's Culinary Arts Institute. At the event, they serve a delectable six-course meal. Their famed hors d'oeuvre tables, decorated with ice and fruit sculptures, offer such treats as hand-made bacon, salami, and chorizo.

The ball gained such popularity that in 1996, it was moved to the UCCU Center to accommodate more guests. Today it boasts more than 700 attendees.

25 Years Supporting Students

The President's Scholarship Ball at UVU has been called the premier event of Utah County. Even Utah Governor Gary Herbert attends. But it's not just a social event. By funding the merit-based Presidential Scholarship, the ball has made it possible for hundreds of students to attend UVU.

Each year, the ball grows and continues to support even more students. This year it raised $167,048 from sponsorships and ticket sales. An additional $26,210 was generously pledged the night of the event. The Presidential Scholarship currently supports 51 undergrads plus a few graduate students.

Scholarship Recipients Give Thanks

The most touching moments of the ball happen when the students share their stories. Ransom Cundick and Jenni Jessop, both current students and scholarship recipients, used the opportunity to express their gratitude.

Ransom Cundick speaks at the 25th Annual UVU President's Scholarship Ball

"I'm now a junior in the accounting program and am currently working my dream job as an internal auditor at UVU. I know that, because of the choices I'm making now, my son will never have to wonder, like I did, whether or not he will be able to afford college. This scholarship has opened up a world of possibilities not only for me but also for my son. On behalf of my family and the other 50 Presidential Scholarship recipients, thank you for creating this opportunity," said Ransom Cundick.

Jennilyn Jessop and President Holland speak at the UVU Scholarship Ball

"The generous support of scholarship donors has had a profound impact on my success. Not only has the financial assistance made it possible for me to attend school, but even more importantly, the fact that these people believed in me at a time when I couldn't even believe in myself has helped me to regain my confidence, to rise from the ashes of a life that didn't turn out the way I had planned, and to make a better life for my children and myself," said Jenni Jessop.


Donors Make the Difference

At the ball, UVU President Matthew S. Holland said, "UVU has the right faculty and staff to inspire students to heights they never thought they could achieve, but the real difference comes from donors who provide scholarships to our students."

On behalf of the UVU Foundation, thank you for generously supporting our students!


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