Faces of UVU: Laura Towner

Head shot picture of Laura Towner

Major:Graduated in Construction Management

Graduated:  April 2017

Laura Towner worked in her father’s construction company growing up in Utah. She loved it. She loved the ebb and flow of the business and especially loved watching buildings rise out of the ground eventually becoming integral parts of the community.


She always wanted to be in the middle of the construction, but her father always assigned her office work, because it “wasn’t proper for a woman to be on a construction site” back then. As the years ticked by, her yearning didn’t go away, and she knew it was time for a change. She needed a college degree, but how? She was 48 when she decided to act.


Laura had heard about the Women’s Success Center at Utah Valley University, an on-campus organization with a mandated mission to help women succeed in obtaining college degrees, especially women who were coming back to school after a long break. She picked up the phone and made an appointment with a counselor at the center.


The visit energized her and gave her hope, especially when she read the center’s motto: “Every woman deserves the confidence, opportunity, and knowledge that comes with a college degree.” Under the counselor’s guidance Laura jumped in, slowly at first, by enrolling in two evening courses, but after a couple of semesters she enrolled full time. Her declared major was construction management.


Eric Linfield, her department chair, was very encouraging, and mentored her, which she appreciated because there were very few women in the program. He made sure she knew about scholarships and other resources, and he was there when she had questions.


Laura soon realized UVU’s unique system was built on the foundation of student success, and because of its emphasis on diversity, she felt very comfortable in the construction management program as a woman and as someone going back to school later in life. 


Laura graduated with a bachelor’s degree in construction management in 2017. She was immediately hired as a superintendent in the commercial division of the Rod Lewis Construction Company. Interestingly, her first assigned project at Rod Lewis was to manage renovation work UVU’s Hall of Flags. “There is a successful path for non-traditional students such as myself at UVU,” Laura said. “I highly recommend it to those who are thinking about returning to school. It changed my life.”