McKay Name Moves to UVU Education Building
January 19, 2010
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications:
Erin Spurgeon, (801) 863-6807
Christ Taylor, (801) 863-8484 or 472-8588
The administration at Utah Valley University today announced that it has moved, at the original donor’s request, the McKay name from the McKay Events Center to UVU’s Education Building. The donor, who has elected to remain anonymous throughout, feels like the education building is a better fit for both the McKay name and the university due to the fact that David O. McKay, after whom the McKay Events Center has been named since 1996, was a renowned educator. Furthermore, the donors are eager to help UVU in this difficult budget environment, as this gesture will also open up the naming opportunity of the Events Center to another donor/sponsor as an additional revenue source for the university.
The McKay Education Building will be home to UVU’s elementary and secondary education baccalaureate programs, early childhood education associate and certificate programs, as well as UVU’s master of education program, the first master’s program to be introduced at the institution when UVU became a university in 2008.
When UVU launched its elementary education degree in 1996, 30 students constituted the first cohort. UVU’s education program today furnishes local and state schools with between 250 and 300 teachers on an annual basis. Approximately one-third of the elementary teachers hired by the Wasatch District in the last two years were graduates of UVU’s education program, and that number is climbing each year. Currently, more than 800 UVU education alumni are teaching statewide. The program will graduate its first cohort of master’s degree recipients this spring.
“It’s a fitting tribute to the legacy of David O. McKay and an honor for the UVU education program to be associated with such a great educator,” said UVU School of Education Dean Briant Farnsworth.
As a young boy, David O. McKay has been described as having an unquenchable appetite for learning, which spilled over into his career. He began his career as the principal of the school in Huntsville, where he was born and raised. A notably popular and effective teacher, he later taught at the LDS Church’s Weber Stake Academy and, three years later, became principal there as well. After being called to serve as an apostle for the LDS Church, McKay became the Church’s first Commissioner of Education. In 1920, he recommended closing most of the Church’s academies because of duplication with the state’s growing public school system. The academies were replaced by the Church’s seminary program.
“These friends of the institution are, in a word, selfless,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland of the anonymous donors. “Their primary interest, as it has been from the start, is to do whatever benefits the university the most. Their message to us was that they have had a good run on the Events Center and that it was someone else’s turn. The McKay name has indeed had a marvelous run, and we’re thrilled that the run will continue on the McKay Education Building. We’re proud to have the McKay name anywhere on our campus, but this truly will be an excellent fit.”
The 8,500-seat Events Center, established in 1996, is governed by a board consisting of representatives from UVU, Utah County and Orem City. The facility serves as headquarters to the UVU athletics department, the NBA’s Development League Utah Flash, and many other community events, including high school state tournaments, concerts, conferences and expos, and graduations. It is also home to UVU’s renowned culinary arts program, including Greg’s Restaurant. On average, the Events Center hosts 150-170 events per year. As many as 360,000 people patronize the Events Center on an annual basis.
UVU will begin soliciting the Events Center naming opportunity in the coming weeks. Interested parties may contact UVU Advancement Vice President Val Hale at (801) 863-8335.