Paige Holland Encourages Women To Obtain Higher Education
April 25, 2014
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton
At the invitation of Paige Holland, nearly 500 women from throughout Utah Valley gathered April 24 at Utah Valley University to discuss the educational opportunities available to women and to explore how the arts influence women’s families, communities and careers.
Holland, wife of UVU President Matthew S. Holland, hosted the Women’s Leadership Spring Luncheon to raise awareness about the importance of women obtaining higher education. This is the third year she and the Office of the President have sponsored this gathering of women community and business leaders.
This year’s luncheon focused on the need for a new home for the School the Arts on the Orem Campus. Nearly 20,000 students take fine arts classes each year at UVU, and 65 percent are women. Both students and faculty have distinguished themselves internationally and nationally in dance, music, theater and the visual arts.
“As mothers, citizens and community leaders, we realize the arts are an important part of a well-rounded education,” Holland said.
She said her mother taught her to love the arts, urging her to take piano lessons and arranging for her to regularly attend plays, concerts and art shows. Holland said her husband grew up in a home fostered by the arts and played the violin. “Because of this training, Matt and I raise our children in the arts…. I can’t imagine our life without the arts.”
The performing arts were showcased throughout the luncheon. Performers included soprano Nancy Peery Marriott, accompanied by UVU Assistant Professor and Director of Piano Studies Hilary Demske, the UVU Chamber Choir, actress Lisa Valentine Clark and the UVU Ballroom Dance Company.
UVU music education major Chelsea Nichols shared her personal story of returning to college to finish her post-secondary education. “Attending UVU has given me hope. Even when things are hard, school reminds me that life is good and gives me the confidence to keep moving,” she said.
President Holland shared the university’s plans to build a performing arts center that would provide essential learning facilities for student learning. “We have a great need here, and we have a plan for moving forward,” he said. “We need to make this happen.”
He asked the women to become engaged in his wife’s efforts to “transform our culture here so that more young women feel like a university is the place for them. It’s never too late for women to get a degree so they can make contributions wherever they go.”
Honorary hosts for the luncheon included Utah First Lady Jeanette Herbert; Elaine Dalton, UVU Board of Trustees vice chair; Patti Edwards, wife of former BYU football Coach LaVell Edwards; Barbara Barrington Jones, philanthropist and key donor for UVU’s Wee Care Center; and Nancy Peery Marriott.