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UVU Compiles History Of Institution Since 1941, Seeks Residents’ Stories, Memories

20 November 2012 No Comment

November 19, 2012
For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Barbara Hammond (801) 863-6246

As Utah Valley University embarks on the ambitious task of compiling the history of one of the state’s largest and newest universities, residents’ memories of the past 70 years will be key to telling that story. UVU historians are finding the stories are a rich part of Utah Valley’s history, as well as the University’s.

In 2016, Utah Valley University will celebrate the 75th anniversary of what began in 1941 as Central Utah Vocational School. In preparation for the celebration, historians are gathering stories, photos and memories of the history of Utah Valley that affected the growth of the institution that today educates more than 30,000 students.

Included in the history are the treasured memories from nonagenarians Monroe and Shirley Paxman. Born in 1919 in Provo, Shirley and Monroe both turned 21 in 1941, the year the Central Utah Vocational School was established. Married in 1942, the Paxmans raised their family of seven children in their home on 2nd North in Provo.

Shirley taught nursing at what was then Utah Technical College in Provo in the 1970s. As a Juvenile Court Judge in 3rd District Court in the 1960s, Judge Monroe Paxman gave juvenile offenders a choice — go to jail or attend then-Central Utah Vocational School and learn a trade. He believed the latter, called the Provo Delinquency Experiment, was a more productive way for juvenile offenders to pay their debt to society and to build a more productive life.

In the seven decades since Central Utah Vocational School began, the institution evolved from a vocational school to a technical school, a community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. Today, Utah Valley University offers certificate programs, associate degrees, bachelor degrees and master degrees, with a majority of its students coming from Utah Valley.

“UVU is honored to be a part of the rich history of this valley. With a majority of our students coming from Utah County and nearby areas, we are excited to move forward as a vital part of Utah Valley’s future,” said Cameron Martin, UVU vice president for university relations.

UVU is asking residents to submit their stories, journal entries, photos and memories as part of a vast archive that will chart the institution’s and the valley’s history. Submitted documents can be originals that will be copied by UVU historians and returned to their owners, or high-quality copies. UVU staff will also be conducting oral interviews of interested parties, either in their homes or on campus. If you would like to contribute stories, photos, documents, memorabilia or schedule an oral interview to be a part of the history of UVU in the valley, please contact Barbara Hammond, director of community engagement and special projects at UVU at 801-863-5422 or by email at hammonba@uvu.edu.

Monroe and Shirley Paxman both turned 21 when the Central Utah Vocational School, now UVU, was established in 1941.


About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.

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