Scott M. Smith and His wife Karen Announce a $25 Million Gift

Qualtrics co-founder Scott M. Smith and his wife Karen Smith announced a $25 million gift to help fund Utah Valley University’s (UVU) planned engineering building. The building is part of UVU’s response to the state’s need for higher education to increase the number of engineers and computer scientists in Utah’s workforce.

The new building will be named the Scott M. Smith Engineering and Technology Building and the name of the college will be changed to the Smith College of Engineering and Technology.

“Karen and I are delighted to support UVU and its students in this way,” Scott Smith said. “Utah County is a special place for us. Our families settled Utah County in pioneer days, our children were raised here, and we started Qualtrics in our home in Provo. We want to give back in a way that will make an impact, honor my profession, and make Utah County a better place to live. We found the perfect match with UVU.”

The Smiths’ grant will jump-start the private fundraising campaign to raise the $40 million needed to start construction on the 180,000 square-foot, five-story building that will be located on UVU’s Orem Campus. UVU will also be seeking additional support from the state legislature for this transformational building.

“Utah Valley University is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year,” said Astrid S. Tuminez, president of Utah Valley University. “We honor those who sacrificed and worked hard to bring us to this point. We now celebrate Scott and Karen Smith and their visionary gift, which will lay the foundation for UVU’s next 80 years. Their generosity will benefit thousands of students — many yet to be born. They will change peoples’ lives and help fill a critical need to increase the number of engineers in Utah now and in the future.”

There are over 6,000 students in UVU’s College of Engineering & Technology, and that number continues to increase. Space is at a premium as hallways have been converted to student and faculty meeting places. "Here at UVU, we have many students who want to major in engineering or computer science and the new Engineering Building will allow us to increase capacity to accommodate this student demand and produce additional qualified graduates to enter the workforce," said Dean Moaveni. The new building will solve the critical need for more lab and office space, classrooms, and conference rooms and will align technical infrastructure with existing and emerging technologies as the number of students grows.