UVU’s 32nd Annual President’s Scholarship Ball Raises Funds for Student Success

The 32nd annual Utah Valley University President’s Scholarship Ball, held on October 22, focused on student success, an idea that drives UVU’s overall mission.


The 32nd annual Utah Valley University (UVU) President’s Scholarship Ball, held on October 22, focused on student success, an idea that drives UVU’s overall mission. The event aims to raise funds to uplift students who would not be able to achieve their educational aspirations if not for the generosity of a community that supports and believes in them and UVU.

The President’s Scholarship Ball was also the platform for an exciting announcement that will carry the university into the future: the university’s inaugural comprehensive campaign, EverGREEN.

“EverGREEN will help us raise the funds needed to support students, enhance engaged learning opportunities, and ensure that all students leave UVU ready for the workforce and more confident to navigate life,” said UVU President Astrid S. Tuminez. 

As part of the campaign, UVU announced its largest single gift in school history with a multi-year pledge totaling $28.5 million from Utah Community Credit Union (UCCU). The overall goal of the campaign is $350 million.

“EverGREEN is a truly historical moment for Utah Valley University,” said Kyle Reyes, vice president of Institutional Advancement and CEO of the UVU Foundation. “UVU's mission is to provide students with educational opportunities, an enriching learning environment for growth, and accelerated paths to achieve their goals. I invite all to join us in this effort to provide even more transformational educational experiences for UVU students as they prepare to meaningfully impact the world for generations to come.”

The theme of this year’s President’s Scholarship Ball was EverGREEN. President Tuminez said, “Like the evergreens of the mighty redwood forest, where each tree intertwines its roots with others, it is only through intertwining our root systems with the community and state that we have created a foundation and the strength to grow and become what we are today at Utah Valley University.”

The strength of the university can be seen in its students. “You have heard ‘there’s a place for you at UVU,’ you can see it on the billboards, but more than that, you can feel it in the university’s hallways, classrooms, and board rooms,” Jeanette Bennett, founder and editor of Bennett Communications and UVU Board of Trustees member, told the sold-out crowd. “All students come first here. They are welcomed, regardless of their past, to find their future.”

Megan Charchenko, a presidential scholar and a junior honors communication major, said, “I‘ve never felt such a sense of belonging as I do as a student here. The unlimited potential my professors have instilled in me inspires me each and every single day.”

Reyes told the audience that his educational journey was full of challenges in the first two decades of his life, but through “mentors and miracles,” he was able to succeed. His career at UVU began with volunteer work, where he developed a passion for helping students.

“You may not have been here nearly 20 years ago when I started, but I invite you to join us now in planting new seeds of opportunity for tens of thousands of our neighbors, friends, children, grandchildren, and community members,” Reyes said.

Reyes then challenged presidential scholar Brendan Bakker to a Rubik’s cube duel. Bakker is a mechanical engineering student and holds a state record for solving a Rubik’s cube blindfolded. Within seconds, Reyes lost the competition.

Bakker said, “Even if you give two Rubik’s cubes to two speed-solvers, mixed up the exact same way, they will solve it in different ways almost every time, even if they use the same method. Everyone brings their own angle to solve a Rubik’s cube. This is similar to my experience at Utah Valley University. The education I am receiving at UVU is a bit like a puzzle at times, with many twists and turns. One aspect of this education that has never wavered is quality. Every day, I am amazed by the expertise of my professors and the opportunities that are possible simply by attending UVU.”

Thanks to generous donors, the 2022 President’s Scholarship Ball raised $455,500 for presidential scholarships. The money will fund full-tuition student scholarships, helping UVU students achieve their academic ambitions and graduate with work-ready skills.

UVU alumna Noelle Pikus-Pace, who won a silver medal as a skeleton racer, said her time at UVU taught her valuable lessons, including the importance of gaining as much knowledge as possible, being united, and giving back. “UVU taught me the importance of serving others and giving back to this great community we love,” she said.

President's Scholarship Ball

President's Scholarship Ball

President's Scholarship Ball