Writing the UVU Story Together

UVU President Astrid S. Tuminez

One of the things I am proudest of at Utah Valley University is our mandate to serve the needs of our region and the community of people who call Utah Valley home. From lifelong learning activities to spirited athletic competitions, breathtaking performing arts productions, and engagement with the local business community, we are dedicated to being a vibrant driver of academic, economic, and cultural enrichment and development.

That is why I was beyond delighted to arrive on campus when the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts was just a few months shy of completion and finally opened in January 2019. UVU has built a venue where our students, faculty, and the broader arts community can delight audiences with dance, music, theater, and other spectacular performances. As you will read in this issue, an army of like-minded supporters have leveraged passion, commitment, and effort to plan, fund, and build the Noorda Center. It is a venue that only exists because of the collaborative and critical investments of many friends, supporters, and legislative advocates. We are privileged to be stewards of this center.

We will be offering a vast array of inspiring and enriching cultural events for the region, and will enhance our educational offerings for students and the community. The Week of Dreams in March was an awe-inspiring introduction to all that we will be able to offer through the Noorda Center at UVU. I felt particularly honored and delighted to have my inauguration celebrated at The Noorda during the Week of Dreams.

In addition to investing in the economic and cultural life of our valley, UVU prides itself on being the university that says to each and every member of our community, “Come as you are. UVU has a place for you.” We understand the power of being an open-admissions institution, serving as the first choice for an ever-growing number of students and the place of second, third, and fourth chances for so many others. Because of my own educational experience as a child in the Philippines, one of the initiatives that I am most passionate about is our First-Generation Completion Initiative, which provides scholarships and programming for students who are first in their families to pursue a university education. I was thrilled to announce at the 2018 Presidential Scholarship Ball that we were launching a $15 million campaign for first-generation students. Since that time, we have made steady progress in our fundraising efforts, but still have a ways to go. Students and alumni have embraced this campaign, raising financial support for their peers and fellow Wolverines. I am happy that UVU Magazine is spotlighting our first-generation students and programming. I hope that this story will inspire you to support this important campaign.

As you continue to read through this edition, you will learn more about two important and transformative programs at UVU: our newly launched MBA program at Thanksgiving Point, which is partnered with Silicon Slopes, and our English as a Second Language program. This is UVU at its best — serving the diverse needs of our community with innovation and purpose. You will also be treated to a firsthand look at our Culinary Arts program and our Salt Flats racing team, two programs that shine because of the talents of our students and professors.

As always, thank you for your support of Utah Valley University and our students. We are writing this story together. Please be assured of my deep commitment to UVU and its mission, and my pas- sion in being a fierce advocate for every member of our community.

Warmest regards,

Astrid S. Tuminez, Ph.D.