Elevating Education

Collaboration is vital to the UVU experience. We recognize that student success is a shared responsibility that affects community, workforce, and economic development, and we strive to build partnerships that help meet the needs of Utah County and beyond.


The College of Engineering and Technology and the School of Education collaborated with Utah State University, Facebook, and Micron to create portable STEM-learning laboratories called SEEdPODs for elementary school students. The acronym “SEEdPOD” comes from Utah’s new Science and Engineering Education (SEEd) curriculum standards, which combine principles of engineering with science subjects. SEEd lesson plans are stored in trailers called “pods,” which transport STEM resources to teachers and students in the community.

Faculty members from UVU and USU worked closely with local school districts to determine how to create learning materials that would be as helpful as possible to K-6 students and teachers. Students from UVU’s elementary education and secondary education programs significantly shaped all aspects of the project, designing lesson plans, gathering materials, and teaching classes.

Facebook and Micron’s donations will fund the deployment of three SEEdPODs in the Alpine School District, in addition to one trailer sponsored by a UVU Grants for Engaged Learning award. The first SEEdPOD trailer was delivered to Forbes Elementary School in American Fork in February 2021.

Silicon Slopes partnership

In 2019, UVU partnered with Silicon Slopes to offer a new MBA with an emphasis in technology management at the Silicon Slopes headquarters in Lehi. There are currently 19 students pursuing the technology management emphasis, and 51 students have graduated from the program. The partnership provides invaluable opportunities for students to network with executives at Silicon Slopes and gain real-world experience through top tech companies in Utah.

Rocky Mountain Power partnership

In response to UVU’s 24 energy-efficiency projects, Rocky Mountain Power officials presented the university with a $655,467 incentive check. The funding is part of the Wattsmart Business Program that supports organizations working to improve efficiency. Along with six other organizations, we plan to source a large percentage of our electricity needs from an 80-megawatt Electron Solar farm in Tooele County by 2023. The solar program will allow our energy resource system to become 92% renewable.

Rocky Mountain Power partnership

Strengthening Partnerships

WTC Utah partnership

In April 2021, World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) and UVU announced a new partnership where WTC Utah will open an office housed in our Business Resource Center and connect our students with global opportunities. The Larry H. Miller Group, Kirton McConkie, Facebook, the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, and WTC Utah will donate $50,000 in grant funding to help companies cover the cost of the global services.

WARM Program

Beginning fall 2021, students will have the opportunity to complete paid internships with our world-class resort and hotel partners in Wasatch and Summit counties through the Wasatch Resort Management (WARM) Program. The five-semester program allows students to work thousands of hours in the hotel industry while earning a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management.

World Trade Center ribbon cutting

Woman in hospitality

Breeze Airways partnership

In December, startup airline Breeze Airways partnered with UVU’s School of Aviation to create a new tuition reimbursement plan. This collaboration allows students to earn a college degree while gaining real-world experience and developing transferable skills. The program gives our full-time online students the opportunity to work as flight attendants and receive paid tuition for up to $6,000 per year, shared corporate housing, transportation to and from the airport, one paid trip home per month, and a monthly salary.

Conserving Resources

We are dedicated to engaging with the community and contributing our time and resources to important causes, such as sustainability and social impact initiatives. As our students seek to understand and address real-world challenges, they become better prepared to serve their families, employers, and communities.

Tree planting

It’s actually easy being green

We are in our fourth year of being a Tree Campus Higher Education institution by the Arbor Day Foundation. To continue the progress toward being more green, we:

  • Planted 254 new trees across campus during 2020
  • Replaced the grass with synthetic turf in the softball and baseball fields to conserve water
  • Created a designated area for composting north of the Wolverine Training Dome
  • Continued to offer free UTA student passes to students, faculty, and staff to reduce traffic
  • Upgraded HVAC and lighting systems to save nearly 6 million kilowatt-hours annually
  • Expanded recycling to include plastic, aluminum, steel, and tin
  • Installed free electric vehicle charging stations

Expanding Perspectives

Center for Social Impact Breakdown competition

The Center for Social Impact typically offers alternative spring break trips to provide opportunities for students to work with organizations that address social issues. In lieu of these options due to COVID-19, the center hosted a new learning competition called “The Breakdown.” The three-day event invited student teams to learn more about timely social issues and propose strategic solutions. On the final day, students pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. The top group donated their winnings to a nonprofit organization.

CHSS conferences on suicide prevention, domestic violence, and addiction

CHSS conference ribbons

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences hosted its annual conferences on suicide prevention, domestic violence, and addiction this year virtually. These conferences play a critical role in improving the quality of training and treatment resources, providing continuing education units for professionals, and educating the community about prevention, recovery, and how to give or receive support. The keynote speaker for the 2020 Conference on Suicide Prevention was internationally renowned sculptor Gary Lee Price, the keynote speaker for the 2021 Conference on Domestic Violence was The New York Times bestselling author Leslie Morgan Steiner, and the keynote speaker for the 2021 Conference on Addiction was actress and author Mackenzie Phillips. Our students were able to attend the conferences free of charge.

The 5 Browns concert

5 Browns virtual concert

The internationally acclaimed classical piano ensemble “The 5 Browns” performed a virtual benefit concert at The Noorda Center for the Performing Arts on December 1, 2020. The proceeds from the event were donated to the National Children’s Alliance, which is a leading network of care centers for children victimized by abuse. Our Studios and Broadcast Services team produced the livestreamed event.

Bringing in Experts

Presidential Lecture Series: Tara Westover and Graham T. Allison

This year’s guests for the semiannual Presidential Lecture Series were Tara Westover, author of The New York Times bestselling memoir Educated, and Graham T. Allison, a leading national security expert and the founding dean of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Westover spoke at the fall presidential lecture in October, while Allison spoke at the spring presidential lecture in February. Both speakers participated in the event virtually. The speaker series provides unique opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage with important ideas and learn from nationally renowned scholars and experts.

Tara Westover - (photo credit: Paul Stuart)
Tara Westover

Graham T. Allison
Graham T. Allison

Tara Westover book

Autism Center at UVU

Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism annual conference

This year’s annual conference hosted by the Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism was completely virtual, and 500 people participated from around the world. The event featured 19 sessions focused on helping those in the autism community to experience connection and build networks. The keynote speaker was Dr. Gregory P. Hanley, an expert on assessment and behavior modification. The event was dedicated to Charlie Garlick, a young man on the autism spectrum who died by suicide in December 2020.

Shaping Growth

We continue to expand our campus footprint and satellite locations to better serve our students, keeping their education accessible.

New dōTERRA Performance Center

This spring, we held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new dōTERRA Performance Center in the Lockhart Arena. The facilities include new offices, a film screening room, a lounge, and training and locker room spaces. Our Women’s Volleyball team will use half of the facilities, while the Wrestling and Women’s Basketball teams will benefit from the other areas. The addition to the Lockhart Arena was made possible through the generosity of dōTERRA, whose donation of $17.7 million in 2019 will continue to improve resources for athletics, the arts, the Center for Constitutional Studies, the Women’s Success Center, and student scholarships.

DoTerra Performance Center ribbon cutting

Wolverine Way

This spring, leaders from UVU and Orem City gathered to unveil “Wolverine Way” as the new name of 1200 West. The street borders the west side of the Orem Campus. Anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 vehicles travel across it each day. The name change reflects the growth of Orem and the university, which has been in the city since 1977.

Wolverine Way street sign

Lakemount Manor interior

Art museum at Lakemount Manor

Converting the Melanie Bastian estate, also known as Lakemount Manor, into the new home of UVU’s Art Museum (formerly the Woodbury Art Museum) began in early 2021. Valley Design and Construction has worked to keep the estate’s distinctive features intact while adding the systems necessary for a public venue. The museum is expected to open by spring 2022.

Scott C. Keller Business Building

While there were fewer people on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Layton Construction made significant progress on the new Scott C. Keller Business Building. The Keller Building will be ready for classes by spring 2022. The 180,000-square-foot building will house the Woodbury School of Business and include 100 collaborative zones, 30 learning spaces, four engagement centers, two dining options (Sodalicious and Corner Café), and one large divisible auditorium. This summer, the team installed windows on the east side of the building that feature a unique jagged design patterned to provide an excellent view of Mount Timpanogos.

Master Plan update

Part of accessibility is meeting our students where they are. As a commuter campus, we recognize the importance of expanding our campus locations and offerings to be closer to where our students work and live. In collaboration with the Foundation Board, the UVU Board of Trustees developed a new plan for expanding the Vineyard Campus. Minor changes to the Orem Campus and plans for other satellite campuses were approved on June 24, 2021.

Scott C. Keller Business Building

Young Living Alumni Center

The groundbreaking for the Young Living Alumni Center on the Orem Campus took place on January 29, 2021. The venue will become the central location for all university executive functions, ceremonies, and meetings, such as legislative leadership events and the Presidential Lecture Series. It will also serve as the primary space for advancement and alumni operations. The 31,401-square-foot center will be completed by summer 2022. The name honors Young Living Essential Oils, which contributed $4.5 million toward constructing the new center.

Young Living Alumni Center building rendering

Payson land acquisition and Lehi Campus

During the last fiscal year, we closed on 38 acres of land near the Payson power station. The location will be at the southern end of the FrontRunner line and will be adjacent to a new Utah Department of Transportation interchange from Interstate 15. A building will be constructed within the next 15 years.

We also purchased a building in the Thanksgiving Point area within walking distance of the Lehi FrontRunner station. The first floor was remodeled for use by UVU’s Community Outreach and Economic Development department. Executive training, community education, and graduate programs are planned to be housed in this building.

Renovations to the Sorensen Student Center

In August 2020, renovations began on the Sorensen Student Center, with the completion goal of February 2022. In the meantime, the university provided alternate walkways and temporary office relocations or business closures. Improvements to the student center will include:

  • Expanded dining areas
  • Larger areas for Student Health Services and Mental Health Services
  • Redesigned Campus Store, including Scoops and Wolverine Tech
  • New looks for Campus Connection, the Center for Social Impact, the Zone, the post office, and the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs
  • New Starbucks location

UVU Bookstore interior

Pedestrian bridge

In partnership with the Utah Department of Transportation, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), and the Utah State Legislature, we opened a new covered pedestrian bridge, which spans almost 1,000 feet above I-15 and is the largest pedestrian bridge in the state. The pedestrian bridge connects the Orem Campus with the West Campus and the UTA FrontRunner station across the interstate. Elevators on either side are compliant with ADA standards, and ramps alongside the stairs allow pedestrians to push their bicycles and scooters smoothly up the steps. The bridge features 15,000 square feet of heated concrete, 125 lights, and 18 security cameras. Thousands of Wolverines use the bridge daily. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on January 14, 2021, with House Speaker Brad Wilson in attendance.

CASE organization logo

CASE Award

Our Executive Events team won a CASE Gold Circle of Excellence Award for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the pedestrian bridge. Each year, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) recognizes institutions across the world with Circle of Excellence awards for their accomplishments in advancing education through innovation and creativity.

Three students walking the pedestrian bridge